Supporting your child if they are anxious or worried

Based on the answers you’ve given, it sounds like your main concern is that your child might be anxious or worried at the moment. If this is the case, we are here for you with advice and resources to help you support your child.

It’s normal for your child to be finding things difficult during the pandemic. They might be worried or anxious about their own or other people’s health, as well as what the future will be like. It is also normal if, as a parent, you are feeling some of the same things. You and your child have lived through so much uncertainty and change.

Even though things may be incredibly difficult for you right now, there are things you can do to support your child if they are feeling worried or anxious. It’s important to let them know that it’s okay to feel however they feel and keep communication with them as open as you can. Below are some of our tips on how to start that conversation, as well as activities and strategies that can help your child voice their worries.

Read our guide to supporting your child with anxiety, with advice on how you can help your child manage anxiety, and the services available for you to get further help.

Tips if your child is feeling worried or anxious

  • For a younger child: make a 'worry box'

    If you have a younger child, you may find it helpful to make a ‘worry box’ together. This is a box or container into which children can post their anxious thoughts. It can give them a physical way of getting rid of their worries, and can help them create a routine and way of sorting out their worries and sharing them with you.

    > Read our guide

  • For an older child: make a 'self-soothe box'

    For an older child, they might find it helpful to make their own ‘self-soothe box’ - a box of items that help them feel calm and relaxed. Many young people find sensory items, which have something to smell, touch, see, taste and hear, can help them feel grounded when they are anxious.

    > Read our guide

  • Try an activity to start a conversation

    Talking to your child about how they’re feeling can be hard, but by doing an activity you both enjoy, you can create a relaxed space to start that conversation. We have lots of activities and conversation starters to make talking easier.

    > Read more

  • Remember to look after yourself

    This is a time to be kind to yourself and to be looking after your own mental health too. Remember, you can’t support your loved ones if you’re running on empty – you’re only human, and we all find things tough from time to time.

    We have a blog full of tips and advice for looking after yourself at this time.

    > Read the blog

How to provide emotional support for your child

Our Parents Helpline experts share how you can provide emotional support for your child, validate their feelings and alternative ways of communication when they are in distress.

One of the most important things is to validate their feelings. To say what they've been through is understandable can be really helpful because it helps them know that what they felt is right and it's just, and they're entitled to those feelings.
Parents Helpline
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