Many children suffer from anxiety and it is sometimes our impulse as parents to minimize their feelings. I will often hear parents say, "What does she have to be anxious about- she's a kid," or "I think he's angry." Anxiety is not only real in childhood it is usually a large force behind undesired behavior. When faced with "bad" behavior from children, I encourage parents to see their child as anxious or scared from lack of power, lack of autonomuy, inconsistency, or bona fide attachment problems.
This article provides several valuable phrases to say to your child when they are feeling anxious. Using phrases like "I feel nervous sometimes too and it is no fun" or "I am here with you and you are safe" can help the child feel understood and less alone. This also suggests we can change the conversation children have with themselves. These phrases increase self-compassion, self-awareness and ultimately, a habit of understanding oneself. I have three young children and have found many of these very useful!