This was first published on KSL.COM
My child did not have a good year last year in school and was so relieved when summer came. Now she is getting very anxious, even sick, about going back. She worries about handling the homework and about problems with friends. Is there anything I can do to help her start the year off right with less fear and anxiety?
Here are some things you can do to lessen her anxiety:
Then, brainstorm on paper how she, and you, wants to show up in each of those roles. What kind of a sister does she want to be this year? What kind of a friend does she want to be? What kind of a student would she like to be? Have her write down specific details about how she would like to show up in each role.
Also, have her write down some rules or policies that she wants to hold as truths this year. These could be commitments to a healthy way of thinking. Is she going to let the opinions of others crush her this year? Is she going to be in charge of her self-worth?
Once she has a clear picture of who she wants to be, get a fresh piece of paper and have her write each statement in present tense, as if she already is them. For example:
This detailed description of the person she (or you) wants to be this year will become the measuring stick for making decisions and responding to situations. Deciding who want to be and how you want to act ahead of time will create self-worth and empower you to be your best.
Encourage your daughter to keep this paper handy and read it daily. She may want to read it every morning to start the day off right. My adult clients read theirs 2 or 3 times a day, especially at first.
I wrote another article a while back called Giving Kids Amazing Self Confidence. I also recommend you read it. If you would work on those 10 things, especially teaching the principles of truth about life being a classroom and her value being unchangeable, it would give your child a strong foundation to handle whatever happens.
If your child suffers from more serious anxiety, I recommend this article by psychologist Karen Young. You may also want to find a local professional to work with her.
Also, remember these challenges must be her perfect journey, and she is probably gaining strength and wisdom from them that will help her survive in life. You can't and aren't meant to save her from learning to process fear. Just keep teaching principles of truth, about life and her value, and she will be OK.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular life coach and speaker.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.