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We know that anxiety is a problem. Its a problem for us, but it is an increasing problem for our children.
Question is: what can we actually do about it??
I had the privilege to interview Christophe Sauerwein who is Academic Director for iCAAD one of Europe’s most prominent institutions focusing on behavioural, mental and emotional health, specifically focusing on anxiety and addiction, as well as being one of our expert board advisors. Christophe’s speciality is the roots of anxiety in childhood. He had some very interesting things to say about what he’s seeing in terms of trends and more crucially why he thinks it is happening more in our children. Click here to read his interview – fascinating stuff.
Most importantly however he had some solid and very practical advice about what we can do to stop this transmission mechanism between the stress and anxiety that we inevitably face in modern life and our children. Stress and anxiety that is being increasingly (and of course unconsciously) being passed on.
According to Christophe it is all about ‘the transition.’
These days, most of us fulfil multiple roles, because that is what modern society demands from us. Something that isnt likely to change in the short term. We are friends, colleagues, bosses, mother’s, confidants, wives, cleaners, travel arrangers, social coordinators, chefs – the list goes on… We are expected (usually by ourselves) to do them all perfectly and seemlessly.
No wonder we are anxious…
Trouble is that children register and sense this anxiety. Given their lack of cognitive development and/or language skills they pick this up themselves. As a parent, Its really tough.
So what can you do?
A ‘transition’ is a way to stop this transmission. It is taking an active pause between whatever role we have been doing (and probably getting stressed by) before taking on/resuming the role of parent.
This can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes to an hour dependent on your time constraints and needs. All it is, is an active pause and separation. Letting go of what you have been doing before you re-start your role as a parent. However, it has to be active.
What does that mean? It means this is something you have to make a decision to do. It wont happen naturally or come to you. It is about choosing a way that works for you to switch off from what you have been doing and separating it mentally ready for what you’re about to do.
This can be anything from stepping outside and taking a few deep and calming breaths, to a walk around the block, to a meditatiion, to phoning a friend, to switching your phone off, a quick bit of yoga or exercise or even just listening to a song or podcast. Its really dependent on the realistic time you have and what works for you. You get the general drift though.
It is worth taking the time to figure out what it is that works for you. We all want the best for our children, yet are only human and the demands that modern life place on us are tough so we need all the help we can get. Just a simple ‘transition’ whenever we can is potentially hugely powerful in the fight against the growing mental health epidemic.
No downside to giving it a go. Click here to read the full interview with Christophe.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.
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