If you’re the parent of an anxious child, it may feel like your child is constantly in a state of panic. They might dread going to school, or they may have difficulty sleeping, or they may avoid doing things because of the fear they will be in an accident or be hurt by a stranger.
Some anxiety is normal, but some children have severe anxiety disorders that can have a huge impact on their lives. There are a variety of treatment options, such as therapy and medication. There are also a number of coping strategies that can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life, such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, and yoga.
The most important thing is to get help if you think your child has an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is highly treatable, and the earlier you can start helping them, the more likely they are to make progress. If you think your child has an anxiety disorder, it’s crucial to reach out for professional guidance from your family doctor or a cognitive behavioral therapist who works with kids.
Many parents try to help their children deal with anxiety by reassuring them and minimizing their fears. However, these well-intentioned actions can actually backfire and make the anxiety worse. When you tell your child that they are not afraid or that their fears are irrational, it makes them more apprehensive and less likely to face their fears.
It’s also important to remember that children pick up on their parent’s anxiety, and if you are a nervous, anxious person, your children will learn the same. For example, if you scream at the sight of a bug, they will learn to be afraid of bugs too. This is because kids are naturally very sensitive and will absorb your anxiety and worries, no matter what you say.
Anxiety is a normal response to threats or dangers, but it can become out of control if left untreated. Children who suffer from an anxiety disorder often experience physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, and stomach upset. Anxious children also have trouble concentrating, have trouble with their emotions, and are more prone to depression.
The good news is that most kids can overcome their anxiety, even if they have been diagnosed with a severe form. The first step is to seek professional guidance from a therapist or cognitive behavioral therapist, who can teach your child how to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
For additional resources, sign up for the five part email series called “Raising Anxiety-Free Kids,” available at no cost to you. It covers how anxiety and fear can take over your child’s life so quickly, what well intentioned things well meaning parents do that only serve to make the anxiety worse, how to set boundaries for your child, and more. Click the link below to get started for free TODAY!