Many parents complain that their kids do not think before they act. And a lot many parents have the completely opposite problem. Their kids are thinking too much!
When your child is doing the amount of thinking for an entire house, nay, an entire building, it is bound to worry you a lot. We get it. We just want them to be free like ‘normal’ kids doing normal children’s stuff. Basically, just enjoy their life more often.
We totally understand, which is why help has arrived! Here is how you can deal with your child who is a major overthinker.
Do not dismiss their worries.
Their worries may not be entirely baseless. Whatever they are worried about, though out of proportion, is still causing them discomfort. If we discard what they are saying too quickly, they are going to be deeply hurt.
We do not overthink when we are happy, we do it when our mind is the most vulnerable, that is when we are sad. So, we need to try and keep their spirits up. And we won’t be able to achieve it by shooing them away when they share their thoughts with us.
Moreover, our bond with our child is of top-most importance. Everything else can come later, but we have to be careful that we do not do anything to hamper it. If we dismiss away their worries, they will not feel like sharing anything with you. Hence negatively affecting your relationship with them.
So, address their concerns. Whenever they are very disturbed, listen to what they have to say patiently. Do not be in a hurry to give them a solution. Sometimes, they are not even looking for advice, they might have just wanted to vent.
Remain calm and pass on that energy to your kids.
As we discussed in the last point, we tend to overthink when our mind is not stable. We tend to overthink everything when we are in a negative phase. So, we need to ensure that we try and keep them as cheerful as we can. And how do we do that?
Whenever we are interacting with our children we can maintain our own positive energy at a high. We can be as calm as we can. We can project our energy on them. It will help them in calming down and having a peaceful mind. It will considerably reduce their overthinking.
How stable our energy is playing a very important role in deciding whether we will be helping them or worsening the situation. If we are also not in the right headspace, then there is a chance that we are increasing their overthinking.
Keep them from spiraling
Our train of thoughts does have as many stations as we want. One thing can lead to another and the next thing we know, we are miles away from where we started. It is like one thought after another without an end to it.
When our children are spiraling into their thoughts, it is not easy to get them out of it. In this case, it is better to prevent it before it happens. We need to divert them from there.
Look for the signs of when they start rabbiting down the hole. When you start noticing the signs, become alert. You can change the subject to something that is pleasant and not too difficult to keep up with. It should be something to which they can easily contribute without having to think about it much.
However, we need to make sure that we find the right balance. We do not want to dismiss their worries but we do not want them to spiral too. So we need to be careful here.
Help them with their thoughts
More often than none, our kids have made a big deal out of something which did not require as much stress and frustration. And, there are some things which are actually serious. But, our kids cannot spot the difference between the two of them as yet.
So, we need to ask them whether they think they are making a mountain out of a molehill, or is it actually a mountain? This question is going to give them the right answer almost every time. And if they think that it is actually a big issue, and you do not agree, then you can tell them so calmly.
Add a pinch of humor
When your child is freaking out about something, then everything looks very serious and grave to them. So, first of all, we have to reduce the severity of the situation if we have any plans of making them stop overthinking.
And how do we do that? Humor is the best option if we want to lighten the mood. Whenever they are worried about something we can behave as if it all seems funny to you, and that you think it is funny.
A word of caution, we have to think it’s funny. We do not want to be mocking our children. We do not want them to think that we are making fun of them. We want them to think that the situation is hilarious.
Is it possible that you are doing the same thing?
Sometimes, our children are like tiny mirrors for us. They do some things exactly like the way we do it. And they are not selective of what they pick up. They take both and bad from us. So, is it at all possible that you also have the habit of overthinking situations?
You may think that being a grown-up your worry is valid, however from a child’s point of view their fears are valid too. If you are doing it too, then chances are that your child is learning it from you. So, our first step before doing all of this is going to be working on ourselves.
Once we overcome our hurdles we can help them overcome theirs too.
With the increasing challenges, overthinking is a common problem for kids. Common but not something we can let go on. We have to work on it when we still have time. Otherwise, it doesn’t take much time for overthinking to evolve into something more serious.