How to Help Your Child Deal With Anxiety

How to Help Your Child Deal With Anxiety

In the midst of a pandemic, the world can be a scary place for children. Children have many good reasons to worry. They are isolated. How to Help Your Child Deal With Anxiety? Their schools have become a place of danger due to the pandemic, Their parents’ schedules have changed. Their parents are worried and frustrated. Their families may not have financial resources. With so many scary and stressful situations, children are anxious.

Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. Anxiety warns us when we are in a dangerous situation. Anxiety is protective, but too much anxiety isn’t healthy. We need to help our children deal with anxiety when they experience it. Leaving them alone to deal with anxiety will only make the situation worse. How to help your child deal with anxiety?

  1. Be supportive and patient.

    It can be frustrating when your child is constantly worried about things that seem meaningless or silly. However, the anxiety they feel is just as real to them as your anxieties are to you. You can try to control your own emotions, but you have no control over the emotions of your child. Rather than trying to control your child’s emotions, be supportive and patient.  Let your children know that you’re sensitive to their feelings and are always there to support them.

  2. Avoid giving too much warning about a stressful event

    Too much notice can provide too much time to worry. You can help your children by figuring out how much advance warning your children need about a stressful event to keep their anxiety at a minimum.  Some children like a little time to process what’s going to happen, but other children don’t need time to process what’s going to happen.    If you know your child stresses out about going to the dentist, it’s best not to announce a dentist appointment three weeks in advance. The morning of the appointment is just fine for some children. For other children, it might be better to say, “Put on your shoes, we have to go to the dentist.”

  3. Listen to your children

    Ask your children what they’re worried about and why. Really listen to what they are saying.  Only when you listen, will you understand what is underlying the fear.  Once you understand what is behind their anxiety, talk about why this fear is or isn’t valid. In other words, look for evidence to prove or disprove the reason for the fear.  If the fear is valid, develop a plan together to handle the issue. If the fear isn’t valid, help your child to trust the evidence they found that negates the reason for the anxiety.

  4. Help your children keep their attention on the present

    Anxiety only occurs when we project events in the future and imagine negative outcomes. Teach your children to focus on the present moment and their surroundings. Show your children it’s more effective to focus on what is, rather than what might be. Teach Your Child Top Success Skills.

  5. Take a look at your home life

    In the midst of a pandemic are there changes in your home that might be fueling your child’s anxiety?  Are you more stressed because of changes at work and home?  Are you more stressed because you are expected to provide more assistance with homework?  Do you and your child’s other parents get along well, or is there a lot of arguing? Are there financial pressures in the household that the child is aware of?  Children might give the impression that they’re not listening, but they are surprisingly adept at figuring out what’s going on. When Should Siblings Share a Bedroom?

  6. Avoid avoidance

    While it is tempting to try to shield your children from everything and everyone that creates stress for them. Helping your children avoid everything that causes them to feel anxious will only make the anxiety worse. Be supportive but avoid letting them off the hook.

    1. Each time your child is allowed to avoid the situation due to anxiety, there’s a part of her brain that says, “Hmmmm. If I make her feel anxious, we can get out of doing these things.”
    2. The brain quickly learns what works. The next time, the anxiety will be even stronger. The brain will continue turning up the volume until it gets what it wants.
    3. Avoiding a stressor brings relief, which is very rewarding. The urge to avoid only becomes stronger as it’s reinforced.
  7. Get professional help

    It’s very challenging for a parent to effectively help a child with moderate to severe anxiety issues. If you implement the strategies above and your child’s anxiety does not improve, it’s likely that professional help will be useful. Find a therapist or psychologist that specializes in children of your child’s age.

Many children suffer from worry when they are not experiencing a pandemic. Children are under a lot of social scrutiny at school, and kids can be cruel. They have little control over their lives and the aspects of their lives are controlled by parents or teachers may contribute to anxiety.

If your child is anxious, it can be heartbreaking to see them worry all of the time. It can also be frustrating when their worries seem pointless to you. Be supportive and patient and get professional help if your efforts prove to be insufficient.

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