5 Ways to Help Your Child With Anxiety
It’s normal for children to worry a little, especially if they are experiencing big changes. Sometimes children and adolescents don’t realize that their anxiety is more intense than typical. When worry turns into full-blown anxiety, your child may need help coping.
Here are five ways you can help your child deal with anxiety:
- Talk about it. Ignoring your child’s fears won’t make them go away and may only increase their anxiety. Listen to your child and provide feedback to validates their feelings. You may not be able to remove the fear, but you can communicate that you understand.
- Assist with reality checks. Ask your child to identify whether their anxious thoughts really make sense. Use logic and facts to help show that there is less to worry about than it may appear.
- Be positive. Anxious children tend to embrace negative thoughts. Model a positive, upbeat attitude and be sure to point out the good in a given situation. Sometimes your child just needs a reminder that not everything warrants worry.
- Schedule down-time. Today’s children are often over-scheduled, and rushing from activity to activity can cause anxiety. Be sure to leave plenty of time for kids to just be kids and relax and play on their own time.
- Take a deep breath. Teach your child basic relaxation techniques, including deep breathing and visualization.
If you are unable to ease your child’s anxiety or if they experience chronic and exaggerated worry and tension that seem to have no substantial cause, it may be Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Your child does not have to suffer from GAD. Schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor right away for diagnosis and help with treatment.