8 Healthy Habits I'm Teaching My Kid to Calm Her Worry & Anxiety

8 Healthy Habits I'm Teaching My Kid to Calm Her Worry & Anxiety

Here’s how one mom helps her anxious kid calm her unnecessary worries and be happier.


By: Lorraine Allen

Some kids, like my daughter, worry about everything, and their anxiety can be hard to manage. My kid worries about being late for school and about bees in our garden, for example. Sometimes, she even worries that our house might burn down, even though she’s never seen a house fire. But I’ve learned that it’s crucial to stay calm and patient in helping my kid learn to manage and reduce her constant worries and fears. Here are eight ways I’ve been successful:

1. Turn worries into assurances. When she worries that our house could burn down, I make her say instead, “We have never had a fire at home, and there is no fire now. And we have fire extinguishers and firefighters to keep us safe.” I help her verbalize each worry and come up with new thinking to reassure her. We practice this until positive thinking becomes a habit.

2. Debunk perfectionism. I remind her often that I love her no matter what, that no one is perfect, and no one expects her to be. I know kids often just want to please parents and so our expectations of them, imaginary or true, might stress them. This reminder helps to ease her pressure on herself.

3. Talk about things that went right. At the end of each day, we say three things that made us happy, to help our kid develop a more positive outlook.

4. Use visualization to calm down. Instead of picturing fire, for example, I help my daughter picture a happy place and encourage her to notice the calm feelings these thoughts bring.

5. Contain fears and worries, and help get rid of them. I give my kid paper to write down her worries and then tell her to tear them up and toss them. Or we pick up pebbles on our walk and pretend her pebble is her worry. She can just throw it away and pick a pretty flower to hold instead.

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6. Exercise. This helps her instantly forget her worries and refocus on having FUN. Developing physical ability also builds confidence in my kid, encourages her to play, and leads to better sleep, which helps her feel calmer too. Her favorites are biking, swimming (in the deep end!), and swinging.

7. Play music and dance. Like exercise, these activities magically erase my kid’s anxiety and make her happy. They bring her right into the moment and help her forget her imaginary worries.

8. Breathe. When my kid is really upset, we pretend we have a balloon (she picks a color and shape), and she blows it up really big. Each breath is a worry she can let out of her. Then we let the imaginary balloon blow away and all the worry is almost gone.

How do you help your kids worry less and be happier?



Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 5-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/Imagesbybarbara

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