Ways To Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal response to something dangerous or stressful. Anxiety can be an adaptive response when it motivates us or warns us of danger. However, anxiety can also show up unexpectedly, causing such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. It can affect the way that we think, feel and act.
People of all ages experience anxiety, including young children and adolescents. Children may experience symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, muscle tension, rapid heart rate, and/or difficulty breathing. Psychologically, children who are anxious may have negative thoughts and imagine the worst possible outcome. Behaviorally, a child who is anxious may refuse to attend school, have difficulty sleeping, engage in frequent crying, or present with what some parents view as “temper tantrums,” irritability and avoidance. It is important to understand that these children are feeling overwhelmed, and unable to verbalize their experience of anxiety. Fortunately, anxiety is treatable, and children tend to be responsive to such treatment.
As a child’s primary support, you can help normalize your child’s experience by helping them gain an understanding of anxiety, its prevalence, and common signs and symptoms. There is a beneficial article from “Hey SIGMUND” that provides parents with a clear and concise explanation of anxiety and the ways in which you, as a parent, can support your child in overcoming anxiety: Anxiety in Kids: How to Turn It Around and Protect Them For Life. This article also provides practical coping strategies that you can practice with your child.
Your child can learn ways to verbalize their feelings, and to cope with the symptoms of anxiety. As a parent, you can provide the foundation for your child’s healing.