• User AvatarMiriam
  • 16 Sep, 2023
  • 2 Mins Read

Start the conversation – how to build resilience and reduce anxiety in children.

Feeling anxious is normal. We needed this feeling to keep us alive millions and millions of years ago and our brain still has the capacity to perceive threat or fear.


Whilst, nowadays in not hugely likely the anxiety we feel is a life or death situation our brains can’t actually perceive what is a real threat and what is not.


Healthy anxiety is what we need to take ourselves out of our comfort zone and grow. But staying in a state of high anxiety sends a chemical cocktail throughout our body which causes reactions such as fast heart beat, and can result in all cognitive, reasonable thinking leaving the building. This is when you might witness a temper tantrum or a melt down. Or children withdrawing, becoming stubborn and unreasonably questioning. 


It’s right now that everyone needs to take a break and take a breath. A 2-3 second deep breath can help restore the body’s metabolic imbalance and we can resume thinking from the front of our brain. Of course, this is easier said than done. So to practise this ‘pause’ when everyone is calm is key to helping to remember to also do so when we are stressed. 


Start the conversation – To help build their resilience, use character strength and learning dispositions words, make comments to your child like, 


“I can see this is worrying you. Shall we be a little bit curious to see what could possibly happen if you try ‘this’?” or 


“You haven’t done ‘this’ before so you might need to be a little bit brave to give it a go. But that’s ok, because I know you can do it”. 


It’s also important to follow up on that conversation to make sure they did succeed so you can celebrate that with them. 


Following are some words you can use in your conversations with your child to help build their resilience which at the same time reduces anxiety.


  • Courage
  • Curiosity
  • Respect
  • Pride
  • Inspire
  • Connect
  • Care
  • Take responsibility 
  • Compassionate
  • Helpful
  • Friendly
  • Playful
  • Self control
  • Persevere
  • Determination
  • Independent
  • Risk taking
  • Confident
  • Trustworthy
  • Co-operative
  • Commitment
  • Patient
  • Sense of humour
  • Reliable
  • Active
  • Empathy
  • Creative
  • Expressive
  • Communicator 
  • Resourceful


Taking the time to have conversations is crucial in building any person’s self worth, knowing they have all these characteristics within them, they just need to be drawn upon to grow their comfort zones and grow as a person.


For breathing exercises you can practise with your child, purchase the Say It Clearly manual on Amazon or the Clear Speech for Children here. Because children being able to clearly and confidently articulate their feelings is first and foremost for being emotionally intelligent beings.


Have a great week, Miriam.

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