5 Tips and Tricks that Every Parent with an Anxious Child Should Try

anxious-child

Dealing with anxiety as an adult is terrible enough but seeing your child experiencing anxiety and being overwhelmed with worry at any age when nonchalance should be their primary trait is heartbreaking.

I have had my own set of anxiety issues, starting when I was in my early teens, and it was only after many years that I learnt to control – not eliminate – my anxiety issues, mainly through meditation. I always feared my anxiety troubles would be passed down to my boy. I would nervously play with the frill of my breastfeeding dress, as my baby drank away, concerned that he would turn a worrier just like me.

Despite feeling very guilty when I started noticing these traits in my child, I knew that I could not have controlled this. More than that, I knew I wasn’t alone, in fact, 1 in 8 children suffer from anxiety in the US alone. There are two ways anxiety can affect children – they can be “quiet and well behaved, and thus frequently go unnoticed by their parents, teachers, and coaches” or they “can be disruptive and act out, being labeled as having attention deficit disorder or being a ‘bad’ kid.”

Untreated anxiety issues can lead to depression and so it is imperative for us to help our children cope with their anxiety in a safe environment. While keeping in mind that every child is different and treatment needs to vary accordingly, here are five tips on how you can help your child with anxiety.

Teach them to analyze their fears

Reassuring your child that everything is going to be fine is not enough here. Instead, teach your child to list the information and determine the worrying factors. Then, let them debate with themselves whether they should genuinely worry.

Lead them away from the ‘what ifs’

Explain to them that they should focus on what is happening in the now and not to focus on the ‘what ifs.’ People with anxiety will have their imagination run wild so helping them steer their imagination to the present is helping them ease their worries.

Create targets

When we see our child genuinely scared of a situation our first instinct is to remove them from it but when bus rides and playgrounds are the anxiety inducers, then you are only teaching your child how to avoid situations because of fear. Instead of doing this, create targets so that your child can take a step further every day to conquer his fear.

Talk worst case scenarios

Sometimes venting can be the best way to ease the worried child but rather than asking direct questions about their fears, let your child do the talking and simply listen. Allow them to confess their worst case scenarios and let them experience them right there and then in a safe environment. Afterwards, give them your perspective on these fears to ease their worries.

The power of meditation

Meditation is a powerful tool that has helped millions of people around the world become more focused, present-oriented and in tune with their inner self. It sounds like a lot for a child but guided meditation can help your kid accept these anxiety issues and learn how to deal with them in a natural way so that throughout his or her life, your child will know there is meditation as a form of therapy, rather than choosing drugs, food or any other destructive behavior to ease their anxieties.

 

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