Support 2: Confidence

In the first article, we looked at the acceptance of childhood anxiety. This is the first major component of being supportive and plays an essential role in understanding how your child is experiencing anxiety.

The second major component is confidence. As kids grow up, they have often learned to rely on their parents. Sometimes this reliance is so strong that the children can no longer see how they can do many tasks independent from their parents. Something we call this learned helplessness, other times we call this laziness.

However, when it comes to childhood anxiety, it is essential for children to understand that what you are asking them to do is actually within their realm of possibilities. When you express confidence in your child, you are simply stating what you believe, not what your child needs to do. Once you understand this, it may be easier for you to express confidence towards an anxious child.

Confidence is not about what your child can do. A confident statement towards the child is all about what you believe the child can do, even before they do it. How confident can you actually be in what your child is going to do? If you keep the focus on yourself and remember that you are telling your child that you believe s/he can tolerate anxiety, then the statement can be completely honest and accurate regardless of what the child does.

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