Whether you are a parent, teacher, or childcare provider, there are several ways to treat anxiety in children. You can help your child develop strategies for overcoming stress by learning about anxiety.
You can also ensure your home is safe for your child by providing a stable environment, promoting self-esteem and self-confidence, and praising children for their accomplishments.
Managing anxiety in children is a daunting task, but one that parents and children can do together. The key is to recognize its signs and symptoms.
One of the signs is a fear of something bad happening. Another is a sense of choking. Some physical symptoms can be sweating or difficulty sleeping.
How do You Treat Anxiety in Children?
Generally, the best way to treat anxiety in children is through counseling and medication. There are also several holistic options for treatment. Some of these include yoga, biofeedback, diet, and family dynamics.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective methods of treating anxiety in children. The goal of this therapy is to change the way that a child thinks and behaves.
Pay Attention to Your Child’s Feelings.
A close look at your child’s feelings and thoughts can help you determine whether they are related to anxiety. If your child is anxious about a new school or starting a fresh activity, pay attention to whatever he’s feeling.
In figuring out what’s behind your child’s anxiety, you can take advantage of cognitive behavioral therapy, which uses techniques to change your child’s thinking.
While you must understand why your child is feeling somehow, ensure that you’re not overly sensitive. Children often feel the need to justify their fears. They may try to change their behavior or talk down their feelings.
When treating anxiety in children, you need to give your child time to work through their feelings. It can be challenging for parents to understand why their child is feeling so overwhelmed and uncomfortable.
Taking a little time to understand your child’s feelings can be a great way to help them get through the day.
Teach Positive Coping Skills and Strategies
Having a set of positive coping skills and strategies to manage anxiety in children is essential to their development.
The most effective coping skills are such that have been developed through practice and are applicable under specific conditions. Practicing these coping skills will help prevent stress from happening.
Emotion-focused coping skills focus on dealing with difficult emotions. These skills may include expressive writing, meditation, and positive thinking. They are a good option for teens as they allow them to release pent-up emotions and increase their capacity for self-reflection.
Problem-focused coping skills work on the source of stress. They include talking to a teacher or a friend. They can also help your child avoid situations that make them anxious.
Another vital skill for children is physical activity. Exercise is a good choice because it can help recharge the batteries and allow you to spend time with other people.
If your child’s anxiety is causing significant problems at school or home, he should be evaluated by a pediatrician or mental health professional. However, the pediatrician can recommend a counselor to work with your child.
Provide a Safe and Stable Home Life
Creating a stable home life will go a long way in promoting the healthy development of children. Having a stable home environment has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s mental health.
The best way to do this is to establish rules and boundaries in the house. This will provide a level of control and predictability. It will help children learn how to self-regulate and reduce the odds of a mishap.
A stable home life can help alleviate the stress of adversity and the associated mental health issues.
To combat this, parents must create a home life where kids feel safe and secure. There are some techniques parents can use to achieve this goal. These include limiting children’s time in front of the TV and playing board games.
The best way to create a stable home life is to ensure each parent has their fair share of responsibility and the kids know how to behave. Children who feel neglected will be more likely to exhibit behavior problems.
Promote Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
Boosting self-esteem and self-confidence in children will make them feel good about themselves. The best way to do this is to give the support they need. You can do this by involving them in family activities, volunteering, community service, or sporting activities.
You can also build self-esteem by creating a warm, loving environment in your home. Children need to feel loved at all times, no matter what.
Encourage children to talk about their feelings. If they are struggling with school or other activities, let them know that you are there to support them. You can also encourage them to set goals and work towards them.
Kids who are low in self-esteem tend to dwell on past mistakes. They may think they are not good enough or their appearance is not up to par. These thoughts can cause negative self-remorse and lower their self-esteem.
To promote self-esteem and self-confidence in children, you can create a positive affirmation for them to repeat. Choose a positive affirmation and link it to a specific time and activity.
Learn about Anxiety in Children
Educating yourself on anxiety can help you recognize and manage it. It can also help you connect with professionals who can assist you.
Anxiety in children is a common ailment. Some children may be born with more anxiety than others. It can be very challenging for a parent to recognize anxiety in their children.
A good place to start is the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) which groups anxiety disorders by age. Special features are in children and the DSM-IV doesn’t recognize them.
The most common features are related to fears and include fear of heights, being alone, and loud noises. Anxiety in children can be associated with separation anxiety, which is a fear of being separated from loved ones.
Environmental stressors can trigger anxiety in children. These include being bullied at school, having frequent changes at home, or having a death in the family.
Note that anxiety in children can affect other areas of life, such as learning, socializing, and even physical health.
Stay Calm When the Child is Feeling Anxious.
Taking time to help your child learn how to stay calm can be a great tool in the fight against anxiety.
Research shows that children who can tolerate a bit of anxiety are more likely to face the world with less anxiety.
One of the best ways to help your child get to the bottom of their anxiety is to provide them with a list of coping skills.
You can create this list before the problem happens, and it can help your child deal with the situation positively.
A visualization technique is a great way to help your child deal with anxiety. This technique helps your child envision the best possible outcome. In addition, this technique will help your child deal with anxiety by replacing their fear with endorphins.
Taking three deep breaths can help reverse the stress response in your body. Children experiencing anxiety may not want to take deep breaths, but this can be a great way to help them feel relaxed.
Whether you have an anxious child or not, you’ve probably noticed that praising accomplishments can make them feel more secure. It also boosts their self-esteem.
Praising accomplishments can set up kids for future success. Children with low self-esteem may worry about revealing their weaknesses.
In addition, they may not want to try challenging tasks because they are afraid of failing. However, modest praise may ease anxiety and allow exploration. This praise acknowledges children’s efforts and does not pressure them to excel.
Another type of praise focuses on the process. This praise teaches children that their brains are flexible and they can use their skills to solve problems.
It builds a foundation for self-determination and independence. Praising accomplishments teaches children to ask for help and take responsibility for their actions. It improves a healthy growth mindset, so they can grow up to be self-confident and productive members of society.
Whether praising a child for doing something right or wrong, you must focus on the effort.
Do not use this kind of praise to punish a child for not making progress or for not performing well. Instead, you should pay attention to the child’s feelings.
When dealing with an anxious child, you must encourage him to face their fears and practice relaxation techniques. Encourage deep breathing and open-ended questions. This will help a child feel more in control.
A child with anxiety may also engage in self-harm or substance abuse. They may also avoid certain activities and sleepovers.