How To Explain Worry To a Child? | 7 Simple Steps

Sharing is caring!

Have you ever noticed that your child is feeling worried or anxious about something?

It’s totally normal for kids to have these feelings, just like adults do.

But sometimes, it can be tricky for them to understand what’s going on.

Therefore, you want to hold your child’s hand and help them understand their feelings.

But the question is, how can you help your little child understand this natural part of life? How to explain worry to a child?

Today, in this article, we will discuss some simple steps you can follow to explain worry to your child easily.

So, without any further delay, let’s get started!

How To Explain Worry To a Child?
Photo by Pixabay

What is Worry?

Worrying is a NATURAL HUMAN RESPONSE characterized by anxiety and fear, specifically about the future.

It involves a mental preoccupation with expected problems, uncertainties, or negative possibilities.

While some levels of worry can be normal and EVEN HELPFUL in certain situations. Still, excessive or chronic worrying can negatively affect mental and physical health.

NOTE: It is crucial to understand that worry differs from PROBLEM-SOLVING. Problem-solving involves taking steps to resolve the problem. In contrast, worry tends to be more focused on the negative aspects of the problem without taking practical action.

How Does Worry Differs From Anxiety?

Worry and anxiety might seem like twins, but they have their own unique ways of saying hello.

Let’s discuss the potential differences between the two.

IntensityMild and temporaryMore intense and extensive
DurationTime-limitedIt can be chronic, lasting six months or more
ControlIndividuals can usually control and redirect thoughtsMay feel more uncontrollable and challenging to manage
Physical SymptomsMild discomfort, minimal physical symptomsMay include muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, trembling, sweating, increased heart rate
Impact on Daily LifeDoes not significantly impair daily activitiesCan interfere with relationships, work, and overall quality of life
Response to StressorsResponse to specific stressors diminishes with resolutionMay persist even in the absence of a clear stressor, more generalized

Related Article: How To Explain Anxiety To A Child? | 5 Simple Steps!

How to Explain Worry to a Child?

Explaining worry to a child requires a thoughtful and empathetic approach.

Children may not fully understand the complex emotions, even though they can feel them.

But you can help them through it!

Worry is a natural part of life, and helping children understand it is essential for their well-being.

So, let’s discuss some simple steps you can follow in order to explain worry to your child.

Start with Finding a Quiet and Comfortable Setting

Children respond better to conversation when they feel safe and comfortable.

Therefore, selecting a CALM ENVIRONMENT is essential as it helps to create a sense of security for the child.

To start the conversation, look for a space where the child is familiar and at ease. It could be their bedroom, a quiet corner of the house, or any place where they find solace.

Make sure that the conversation takes place away from the hustle and bustle of daily activities.

It provides the child with a sense of privacy, allowing them to open up without the FEAR OF BEING OVERHEARD.

Photo by Pexels User

Use Simple Language to Explain Worry to Your Child

When you have selected a comfortable sitting and are ready to start the conversation, make sure to choose SIMPLE LANGUAGE.

Children of different age groups have different levels of language comprehension.

Therefore, it is essential to adjust your vocabulary and the complexity of your sentences based on your CHILD’S AGE.

For younger children, for instance, you can use short sentences with basic vocabulary. Alternatively, older children can grasp more abstract concepts, so you can introduce complex language slightly.

However, always make sure that your communication remains accessible and easy to understand.

Start with a Relatable Scenario To Explain Worry

When starting a conversation with your child about worry, it is essential to begin with a relatable scenario.

Doing so helps them understand easily.

For example:

            Your child wakes up in the morning and feeling excited about the day ahead. But as they start getting ready, they realize they forgot to do their homework last night.

That REALIZATION triggers a feeling of worry in the child.

For a child, forgetting homework or facing a similar dilemma at school is common.

You can use these RELATABLE SCENARIOS to start a discussion about worry.

Image via jonas mohamadi

Now Start Describing the Feeling of Worry

Worry is a feeling we experience when we are concerned or uneasy about something.

A little voice inside us keeps asking “What if?” questions about things that might happen in the future.

You can explain it as a feeling of nervousness or fear about things that haven’t happened yet, but we are afraid they might.

Getting my point?

Offer examples of situations that might worry a child, such as starting a new school, being separated from a parent, or encountering a unique experience.

With that, encourage the child to express their worries by asking open-ended questions such as, “What are you worried about?” or “Is there something bothering you that you’d like to talk about?”

Image via Ahmed akacha

You Can Share Your Personal Experience Too

When explaining worry to a child, it can be incredibly effective to share a personal story from your childhood.

By recounting a time when you felt worried as a child, you not only make the concept more relatable but also demonstrate to the child that their mentor HAS EXPERIENCED similar situations.

You might begin with something like,

“Hey, do you know what worry means?

It’s when you feel a little scared or nervous about something or are unsure about what might happen next. You know, when I was about your age, I used to worry too. Let me tell you about a time when I felt really worried.”

You could then share a specific memory from your own childhood, for instance:

“I remember when I was in elementary school, I had to give a presentation in front of my class. I was so nervous because I was afraid I might mess up or forget what to say. I couldn’t sleep the night before, and my stomach felt all fluttery. It was a big worry for me at that time.”

Normalize Worry Toward the Child

Worry is a natural and common emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives.

Therefore, it is essential to reinforce to children that feeling worried is a normal part of being human.

After sharing your story, you can highlight the normality of feeling worried by saying something like:

“You know what? It’s completely normal to feel worried sometimes.

Everyone feels that way, even adults like me. It’s our mind’s way of telling us that something is important to us or that we care about something.

You could explain further by saying, “Feeling worried doesn’t mean you are weak or something is wrong with you. It just means that your brain is thinking about something that’s important to you.”

By normalizing worry and reassuring children that it is a natural part of life, you can empower them to recognize and manage their emotions in a healthy way.

Highlight the Positive Aspects of Worrying

With normalizing worry, it is also essential to highlight its positive aspects.

Doing so helps them understand that it’s not something to be afraid of but rather a SIGNAL that we care about certain things.

Relate worry to a NATURAL INSTINCT for protection.

And reinforce the idea that worry is like a mental alarm that helps us pay attention to things that matter.

When you let your child understand that it is okay to feel worried sometimes, they should never be afraid to express their feelings.

Image via willsantt

With that, let’s wrap up our discussion.


How to explain worry to a child? You know, right?

Explaining worry to a child requires patience, empathy, and a thoughtful approach.

Start by creating a comfortable environment and using simple language that matches the child’s comprehension level.

Starting with the relatable scenarios and describing the feelings of worry helps understand their emotions better.

Normalizing worry and sharing its positive aspects empowers children to recognize and manage their emotions.

I hope this article adds value to your and your child’s life. If you really find this post helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top