Anxiety in children occurs for many different reasons and is usually dealt with and resolved throughout the child’s life. However, some anxiety in children persists past childhood and into teen years. These issues can be very problematic and interfere with a child’s ability to function normally and often leads to depression, socialization problems and substance abuse. How to help a child with anxiety in children can vary depending on the child’s age, health issues, mental health and other factors. It is important to work closely with your child’s doctor and therapist to determine how best to approach this type of anxiety in children.
Many children are afraid of certain things or are terrified of public situations such as riding the school bus or seeing other children in public. While these fears are normal, anxiety in children can lead to more serious concerns and issues such as school-age children becoming self-conscious about certain fears such as riding the school bus or eating at a restaurant. How to help a child with anxiety in children begins with recognizing the child’s fears and being willing to face the child’s anxiety by asking questions and offering suggestions for possible situations that may present a problem. For instance:
“My child was very worried about eating at the table. Do you have to drive an extra hour home from school? What if there is snow outside and we have to wait until it clears up? What if we are going on a date this weekend and I have never met her face? What should I do if she is not ready to go out with me?”
How to help a child with anxiety starts with addressing the underlying fear or issue that is causing the anxiety. It can be any number of things, from a fear of the food being greasy to a fear of public speech or even a fear of pain. Once you recognize the source of the fear, you can then offer suggestions for how the child can overcome it. The first step in helping the child overcome their fear is offering them the help they need to face the situation if it does occur. For instance, if the child is scared of riding the school bus, you could offer the following suggestions:
– Discuss their fears with the teacher and show them how many people are on the bus before them each day. – Explain to them that the bus ride will be fine and that they will not have to worry about any particular situation. – Remind them that even small children get on the bus before them and worry. – Help them to remember that getting on the bus is not a big deal and that they can do it just fine.
Children with anxiety disorders can often be helped by developing an understanding between themselves and their symptoms. This means that the child learns to control their reactions so that they can avoid the problem and learn to cope. Many times, this type of treatment options can provide a permanent solution. However, depending on the child and the severity of their disorder, other treatment options may be necessary. Anxiety in children is something that should be discussed with a qualified medical professional to determine the best course of action for the child.