Child anxiety symptoms (also called being “anxious” or having “fear”) typically begin during the early years of childhood and often become worse over time. Children with anxiety are often unable to fall asleep, experience sleep problems or the inability to stay asleep. They also may experience nightmares or feel uncomfortable when awake. Sometimes, children with anxiety may even sleep excessively. Children with anxiety may also tend to be more irritable, have trouble concentrating, and may also exhibit physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or even hyperactivity.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in your child, it is important for you and your medical care provider to work together in order to address the issue. First, take note of your child’s behavior, including how often he is unable to sleep at night and if he wakes up frequently during the night. Also, try to determine if your child is still spending a lot of time with you, which could be an indication that he is still anxious and scared. Once you have established a baseline for child anxiety symptoms, you and your doctor can begin developing an effective parenting plan to combat them.
The first piece of your child anxiety symptoms prevention plan is to work with your doctor on developing a well-balanced lifestyle. Many of the most common anxiety and fears, such as nightmares and excessive sleepiness, are a result of your child worrying about his current surroundings. In addition, if you’re spending a great deal of time alone, a negative social environment can exacerbate the feelings of isolation your child experiences. For instance, if you are still finding yourself having nightmares about your current financial situation, you may need to adjust your expectations so that your child does not expect to be anxiously left alone in the event of a job loss or a parent lost job.
Your second area of need for an effective parenting strategy is to develop a solid family environment. A strong sense of community and personal identity is critical to managing any anxiety disorder. You should begin to develop a list of things that all members of your family need to do when faced with social adversity, starting with your own child. Implementing these activities in your daily life can help you overcome some of the more severe anxiety symptoms that can accompany this illness, as well.
You may also want to consider an anxiety symptom check list and/or an online adult anxiety symptoms checklist. These types of lists can be very useful in providing support during difficult times. An adult checklist is typically shorter and can include more items, but it can also be more extensive than a short handout. Regardless of what type of checklist you choose to use, creating a system that incorporates both your child’s behaviors and daily routines can be very effective at reducing symptoms.
The final area of need that must be addressed is psychotherapy and/or medication. In most cases, these types of treatments are only considered after the first line of treatment has been achieved through behavioral therapy and behavioral therapies. Psychotherapy can address both cognitive and emotional problems and can be a major part of your child anxiety treatment plan. Medication can be effective when it is combined with other therapies and when used in conjunction with other methods such as parent training and household training. As with any type of medical intervention, you should always consult with your medical doctor to determine whether these treatments are appropriate for your child.