I’m sure all of us know what it feels like to experience anxiety, and how we respond to it in our own lives.  We may even know what we need to do to manage it, when we can.

But what about our children?

We may see anxiety showing up as sleep issues, separation anxiety, nail-biting, skin-picking, hair-pulling, hyperactivity, lack of focus or concentration, tantrums, phobias, ruminating thoughts, and physical complaints (sore tummy or headache before school is a familiar one for many parents).

When our children start experiencing any of the above, it can often end up making us anxious too, and our immediate response can be to try everything in our power to make the anxiety go away.


It’s important to remember that anxiety serves an important purpose: It serves a protective function keeping us aware and vigilant, and therefore safe. Not only this, but according to the Yerkes-Dodson Law, small amounts of stress or anxiety can help with focus and performance. In optimal amounts, it’s what helps with that extra bit of motivation and focus when you sit down to write a test, or before a sports match or live performance.

In our efforts to try and reassure our children quickly, or avoid what’s causing the anxiety, we leave little room for them to learn to manage the anxiety in the long term.

What would be more useful is to equip ourselves with the tools to help change our child’s relationship to anxiety, rather than eradicate it completely.

The relationship we share with our child, and our willingness and ability to attune to their lived experience, is the biggest factor in our success in supporting them through periods of anxiety. There is so much we can do within our children’s environments that can have a huge impact on their mental and emotional state, and equip them with the tools they need to self-regulate, and therefore manage their own anxiety when they’re developmentally ready.

Once we have started working on this attunement and making environmental adjustments, there are some very effective tools we can start practicing – both for ourselves and our children.  

I’ll be discussing how we can identify anxiety in our children and how we can better support them when they are experiencing anxiety on Friday 19th April, at the Hanya House Remedy Bar. And yes I have a toolkit that I’d love to share that’s as applicable to children as it is to us as adults. This is a talk for all parents and future parents, and I hope to connect with you there.

Remedy Bar Wellness Talk: Preventing & Managing Childhood Anxiety
Facilitator: Kelly van Rooyen, Certified Parenting & Family Coach
Friday 19th April, 09h30 – 11h00
R150 per person, incl. Tea/Coffee
Click here to book your spot