Childhood anxiety is quite common, but it’s only being recognized now. In earlier days, when a child was anxious, parents thought that their child was being irritable. But with the growing sensitivity and resources around the conversation, parents are taking this condition more seriously than ever. If you’re children showing signs of anxiety and want to find ways to help them, read on as Matthew Teeple tells you all.
Ways to Help Your Child With Anxiety
Some ways to help your child may seem much easier than others. Matt Teeple suggests the following so that you can help your child in their journey with anxiety.
1. Focus on their Symptoms
Though anxiety is a largely emotional and mental experience, there are times when anxiety can lead to physical symptoms. If your child frequently comes to you with physical pains, it may manifest anxiety in their body. Some common physical symptoms to look out for include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Less want to try new things
- Increased Crying
2. Acknowledging Anxiety for What it is
You must know that when your child is anxious, what they’re fearing is a fear of the future. A child with anxiety is constantly looking out for the next threat, and thus, they are constantly in a state of hypervigilance. You can support your child by informing them that you are there for them. You also want to inform them that they can rely on you so that you can keep track of their episodes.
3. Don’t Avoid Things Because it Makes Your Child Anxious.
Allowing your child to avoid things that will be helpful for them in the long run, is not something you want to do. If you’ve assessed a situation and you know it’s completely safe and your child doesn’t want to do it, then allow them to say no every once in a while. However, let your child make mistakes to dispel their anxiety. A child needs to be exposed to uncomfortable situations so that they can learn from them. If they never do the uncomfortable thing, they may never learn to have the confidence they need to defeat their anxious thoughts.
4. Help Your Children Identify Triggers
Anxiety is like any other mental illness in that situations may trigger it to be more prominent. Ask your child to talk to you about what they think is causing them to feel anxious. If they can’t seem to respond, then talk through the entire day with them and try to observe times they feel uncomfortable. Major triggers for a child’s anxiety may include peer pressure, academic pressure, or major life changes like moving homes or losing a loved one.
5. Practice Relaxing Methods
Breathing techniques and Yoga can help your child deal with anxiety in a more structured way. To support your child through their anxiety, you can research ways to relax and try to do these exercises with them. Matthew Teeple states that some useful methods are listening to calming music, journalling, or breathing exercise for releasing energy.
Final Thoughts by Matt Teeple
Several ways to help your child better deal with anxiety. However, all these ways require you to treat your child with empathy and validate their fears without agreeing.