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How can I help my child calm down?

She comes to me with teary eyes, a shaky voice, and stomping feet, “This is dumb! Everything is terrible! I’m never going to school again!” How can I help my child calm down?

My 13-year-old daughter is prone to drama. It doesn’t take much for her to fly off the handle these days. One minute she’s happily crafting at the table and the next moment her mood has made such a drastic change I have whiplash from it.

My first response is to say the easiest—and least helpful—words, “Just calm down.” But I know from my own experience that those words have never helped anyone just calm down.

Along with my daughter’s teenage hormones is the underlying anxiety that seems to overshadow every situation. I recognize it because I have experienced it too. 

I have lived with an anxiety disorder for over 30 years. Research has shown that children of a parent with an anxiety disorder have a 33 percent higher chance of having it themselves. This makes me fearful that my children may have to live with it, too. I can despair over the fact that maybe my kids will have to navigate life with the mental health diagnosis, or I can give what I wish I would have received in my teenage years as my own mental illness began to take root.

how can I help my child calm down?

This article originally appeared on Her View From Home. The rest of this article can be found there!

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