Anxiety in Kids: How do I make my submissive child become strong?

Anxiety in Kids

The problem:

A mother approached me asking me about signs that show up during anxiety in kids. She was worried her daughter was very submissive and others could easily take advantage of her.

What was happening at home:

Anxiety in kids is a prevalent issue. I suspected that since her daughter was below the age of ten she might not necessarily be suffering from it. I probed further and the mother admitted that she could often be short and angry with her daughter when she herself had many things to do. On many occasions she had forced her daughter to complete tasks against her wishes.

So the first thing was that they were training her at home to be submissive and bull dozed her wishes. If their daughter tried to oppose anything they would just dismiss her and tell her to do what they wanted her to do. This was causing their daughter to literally lose her voice and she stopped asserting herself – which was what they considered her “sweet nature”.

Repercussions on the child:

The mother was worried that their daughter ‘gave in’ easily once they forced her to do something and the same would happen outside the home. True.

  • Kids could easily be bullied by their peers, and such anxiety in kids is what attracts bullies to make them a target.
  • Your child could end up with shouldering more responsibility in team projects
  • In her professional career your kid could be bull dozed by her colleagues for her anxiety
  • In her personal life she could be taken for granted by her family for her submissive nature

Notice the labels you are putting on your kids: shy, introvert, quiet, reserved etc. You are focusing on her behaviour but what you need to focus on is what she is feeling INSIDE and work on changing that. Many parents feel their kid is shy or quiet and does not stand up for themselves. What you are focusing on changing is her personality – which you might be successful in the short term. But she will struggle with that inner negative voice inside which needs to change.

How do you help your child become strong and develop the secret inner ingredient – self confidence

  • Allow your kids to make decisions reduces anxiety in kids.
    Age appropriate decisions. Example for younger kids: get them to choose between noodles, rice and sandwich – decision making helps them to be more confident and helps them overcome the anxiety in kids.
  • Allow her to negotiate what she wants and when she wants to do her task instead of overpowering her. She will begin to feel that she has a say in things. It helps her build her self-confidence within the home environment. Of course negotiations with the intent of your kids being able to express their likes and dislikes not to the point of disobedience or at the cost of respect.
  • Encourage when she does things well but do not praise falsely. Children know when you are faking it. Encourage her for her efforts and attempts at doing something.
  • Do not rescue your child – let them feel feelings of disappointment, defeat and sadness. It is important to normalise these negative emotions because when the anxiety in kids is overcome by resilience they become more confident. Kids realise it is ok to make mistakes and struggle and overcoming them teaches them essential life skills.
  • Teach kids problem solving skills like – ask them what should they do the next time they face a challenging situation? If their friend snatches the toy a second time – brainstorm ways they can overcome that situation – maybe ask the other kid to play along with them? These little changes will help your child overcome anxiety in kids.

If you think your child is struggling with low self confidence and you need some parenting help click HERE to book a FREE call with me.