by Jessica Crosby, Spring Intern
For children dealing with anxiety disorders, having an anti-anxiety kit can be just the tool parents’ need for teaching their children how to properly and independently manage some of their anxiety. These kits help children slowly turn toward independence as they grow closer to adulthood. The goal of an anti-anxiety kit is to make a toolbox of things that are readily available for your child to utilize whenever the time presents itself. This will aid in providing them with strategies for handling their anxiety, and give them confidence in their abilities to address these feelings on their own. When making an anti-anxiety kit it is important to remember that it must be tailored toward whatever works best for your child.
The Chaos and the Clutter has a great example of an anti-anxiety kit. Below are their instructions and tips for what to include in the kits and how to make them. It is important to note that these kits should be adjusted based on the activities and toys that seem to sooth your particular child. Here are some ideas!
What to include:
- A stress ball - tutorial on how to make them yourself easily and inexpensively here
- A kaleidoscope
- An I spy tube – you can make or buy these
- A piece of fabric
- Lavender scented play dough in purple (soothing color)
- Small mirror - for checking herself to see if her face is relaxed
- The book The Way I Feel
- Sound therapy
- Mini massager
- Relaxation prompt cards (Click here to access printable relaxation prompt cards, or you can make your own)
While introducing this kit to your child let them know that you made it just for them. Show them how to use each tool in the kit and give examples of the appropriate time of use for each piece. When the time presents itself, your child should practice using the kit while you’re present. Once your child becomes acquainted with the kit, slowly allow them to use it on their own, but still while you are close by. It is important to offer validation and encouragement, but try to avoid telling your child which coping method to use.
National Council For Adoption hopes that this is a useful tool for your child and something that aids them in finding independent ways for managing their anxiety. For more details on how to create and use this kit please visit The Chaos and the Clutter.