Take a deep breath, believe things can change.


Endless tears, wringing hands, an unexplained stomach ache, intentional stalling, constant questions, worry, more worries, and an overwhelming need for reassurance. You know the frustration. You struggle with the heartache.

 You wish for a perfect season, but you have an anxious child.

During the holiday season when schedules change anxiety often ramps up. Anxiety can feel like an unwanted house guest overstaying their welcome. Your child may have more worry or need more reassurance than normal as the hustle and bustle begins. This can feel daunting and cause you to throw up your hands in despair.

Take a deep breath, believe things can change.

Try these 3 simple exercises with your anxious child. It will be the best gift you could give them this holiday season.

1. Breath

Teach your child to slow down their bodies and minds by taking time to intentionally breath deeply. Do this with your child, pretend to hold a tray of just baked cookies fresh from the oven and take a big smell in. Since they are still too hot to eat you have to blow on them to cool them down. Pretend this together 4-5 times in a row for maximum benefit.

2. Create a daily/weekly pocket calendar


By sharing the daily agenda with your child you are creating a mini-schedule that can help relieve any extra stress due to the differing routine. Be sure to include things that don’t change along with things that are new. Here’s a site to find a great blank calendar to use!

3. Review your day together at night


This is a great way to connect with your kid, build confidence and ease worries. Share highs and lows of the day, provide reassurance, sympathize with frustrations and reframe challenges! Start by asking, “I wonder what was your favorite part of the day?”

Anxiety is tough, but with the right tools you can help your child manage their anxiety this holiday season.​

Merry Christmas! – Susan Stutzman, MA, LCPC, RPT

Susan Stutzman

Susan Stutzman

Owner | Child Therapist | LCPC, RPT

I use the therapeutic power of play and child development research to achieve short-term, practical solutions to resolve emotional stability for the child and peace in the home.

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