You want what is best for your child, and it’s frustrating when you don’t know how to help. Your child with down syndrome may sometimes show signs of anxiety. In this article we’ll discuss how to help your child with down syndrome cope with anxiety, so you can help them when possible and show them how to cope when you’re not there.
A Circle of Friends
Help your child form good friendships with a mix of children with down syndrome—and also without. This helps all children to have a chance to get to know plenty of different types of people. We all learn a lot from who we surround ourselves with. Social interactions are the perfect time to learn to handle anxiety well.
Include Your Child in Household Chores
A child with down syndrome feels useful and enjoys a sense of responsibility when helping out. Allow them to have household chores that they do regularly. As your child has things like chores to focus on, their anxiety is relieved.
Offer Encouragement and Support
We all need encouragement and support, and so do our children. When your child is feeling anxious, offer a hug and let them know you understand, and you’ll get through it together.
Make Time for Fun
Happiness makes anxiety disappear. Schedule fun times with your child. When things aren’t scheduled, it’s easy for time to fly by and your time together having fun doesn’t happen. Here are some ideas to enjoy some time alone with your child:
- Take a walk around the neighborhood.
- Go out for dinner or for ice cream.
- Read a bedtime story.
- Visit the library.
- Do some shopping together.
- Rake leaves and jump in them.
Support and Self-Care for Yourself
Your child with down syndrome doesn’t benefit from you running yourself ragged, even if it’s for them. Find the support you need through support groups and other parents in the same situation. Being around others who understand is helpful. When you feel alone, your own anxiety increases and it’s difficult to help someone else.
Self-care is important as well. You are always caring for others, but who’s taking care of you? Your family needs you healthy and not stressed out.
As you navigate how to help your child with down syndrome cope with anxiety, remember no one loves or knows your child as you do. You can help your child achieve anything, including reducing anxiety.
At Chariot Innovations, we are proud to have created the MiraColt to help children cope with anxiety. Hippotherapy and down syndrome pair well together, as the natural gait of a horse, recreated with the MiraColt, calms and relieves anxiety. Contact Chariot Innovations and we will be happy to answer all your questions about how hippotherapy helps those with down syndrome.