Empowering Kids to Manage Anxiety Using Moshi
It is virtually unavoidable to feel anxious at times, no matter your age, especially given the added ongoing stresses of the pandemic. Anxiety can be managed, though. With some understanding of neuroscience and support of Moshi SEL-related tracks, you can help kids rein in their anxiety and learn a few quick calming tricks for yourself as well.
Anxiety is the body’s innate reaction to stress. As it senses stress, the brain prepares the body to react in the typical fight, flight, or freeze response. Through time, this body reaction has come in handy for survival. These immediate autonomic responses are the physical sensations that result from the body’s nervous system moving into action. Heart rate increases, breathing becomes more rapid, and the body thinks it’s helping. Managing anxiety can involve recognizing these reactions and teaching the body to calm the biological responses to perceived danger.
Kids, like adults, can feel anxious when dealing with life or family changes, managing relationships, and finding their own identity. As you explore these common anxiety triggers with kids, connect with the Moshi for Schools curriculum to give your kids the SEL boost they need to deal with anxiety successfully.
Change, even positive change, can trigger anxiety. Starting a new grade, the birth of a sibling, the introduction of a different routine at school or having a friend move away can all impact levels of anxiety. To help kids learn to cope with these types of transitions, you can include writing and art activities where kids explore their feelings and reactions. Develop your own lessons, or search Moshi’s web player and choose the SEL category that’s right for your kids.
Connections with others are valuable, but the ups and downs of relationships can be a source of anxiety in kids. Developing relationship skills is an important part of social-emotional learning. Moshi provides several resources, including tracks, lesson plans and kid activities, to give kids the tools to develop healthy connections with others.
Connecting the Curriculum
When you use ShiShi’s Soothing Anxiety Shrinker activity and conversation guide with kids, they see ShiShi and her friends learn to recognize and manage feelings of anxiety. You can create SEL centers about mindfulness and managing anxiety using any of the fun, quick Moshi Moments developed to align with the CASEL SEL Standards. Just print the free activities for a fun and free SEL activity. This library of fun, aligned activities helps kids learn to manage anxiety, and much more.
Celebrate Success and Effort
Make time for kids to share about their successes in managing anxiety. Try making a bulletin board, poster, or other display where kids can share artwork and writing. You can include time to discuss challenges kids came up against when practicing mindfulness. This practice can help to normalize sharing about difficult situations, too. There are no wrong answers in SEL learning, and everyone develops their mindfulness toolkit at their own pace. With the wide variety of Moshi activities, crafts, discussion starters and games, there’s something fun for kids of every learning style.
Listen to Shi Shi’s Anxiety Shrinker and use this fun activity to reinforce strategies for anxious times.