Parent's guide to managing intrusive thoughts
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Parent's guide to managing intrusive thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are upsetting images and thoughts that pop into your head. It can sometimes be challenging to manage these thoughts when they arise, and even more so for children. Simply download our free guide below. 

Download our parent's guide to managing intrusive thoughts.

What is included in this guide?

In this parent's guide on how to help a child with intrusive thoughts are a range of tips, advice and guidance including a worksheet that you can use together with your child to put their thoughts on trial. We have also included an example so you can give your child the strategies they need to challenge irrational thinking. 

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What can parents do to help?

It can be difficult to know where to begin when addressing intrusive thoughts with a child, but there are plenty of things we can do.

Having an open dialogue with your child on the thoughts that are troubling them, and offering a non-judgmental ear can enable them to recognise that it is ok to share their thoughts and feelings. 

By creating a supportive environment at home, and asking your child about any upsetting thoughts that may be worrying them will encourage them to be more open, so you can tackle them more effectively together. 

What are intrusive thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are often unwelcome and pop up in the mind involuntarily. Therefore, there is limited control over when, or where they occur. 

They can often cause feelings of unease, anxiety and distress and this can especially be the case in children, when they have a limited understanding of how these thoughts are in their mind. 

Intrusive thoughts in children can often appear at a young age and in various forms. These thoughts could be about harming themselves, or others, germs and contamination or irrational thoughts around specific situations, to name a few. 

If you think your child may be experiencing intrusive and irrational thinking, it is important that you reach out for support from your GP.

Further support

If a life is at imminent risk, please call 999 or attend your nearest A&E for immediate help.

Samaritans - call 116 123

Shout - text the word 'Shout' to 85258

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