Kids Korner: Assisting a Child With Anxiety Disorders

When a child begins to develop changes in behavior, or maybe starts becoming chronically anxious, even the most well-meaning parents can begin to feel bothered, and this is normal. Symptoms of anxiety disorders are common in children and adolescents. When this condition takes over, it interferes with your child’s ability to cope with fear, worry, and depression.

One thing you should know as a parent or guardian is that some children are born more nervous and anxious than others and are also less able to cope with stress and difficult situations than other children.

In dealing with anxiety disorder, early intervention is critical. Therefore, asides from getting professional help, there are certain things you can do as a parent or guardian to assist your child in overcoming this difficulty, as waiting for your child to mature or grow out of these behavior might be the worst approach.

Below are some points for helping children escape the cycle of anxiety:

  • Avoid criticizing your child for being so fearful. Ensure you always reward your child with a praise, hug or even something tangible like a small treat for doing something he/she has been anxious about.
  • Give your child the moral support needed. Encourage your child gently to participate in social activities and these activities would help decrease their anxiety disorders gradually.

[ctt template=”8″ link=”6iqaz” via=”yes” ]In dealing with anxiety disorder, early intervention is critical.[/ctt]

  • Being overprotective to a child dealing with anxiety disorders could increase his difficulties in overcoming his fears. Try not to be overprotective.
  • Let your child know it’s normal to be anxious. Let him/her know that sometimes you also feel anxious. This would help him/her feel more comfortable talking about his/her anxieties.
  • Avoid forcing your child to do things in front of other people. Doing this only puts more pressure on the child. Let him/her engage in public things according to his/her own will.

  • Gently encourage your child to face his/her fears and not run away from them. Avoidance of anxiety-provoking situations maintains the anxiety.
  • Try scheduling relaxing activities with your child. Children need time to relax and be kids. Rather than making fun activities like sports appear more like a success than fun, ensure he/she engages in play purely for the sake of fun.
  • Encourage a good sleep hygiene.

One of the best way to assist a child in overcoming anxiety isn’t to try to remove stressors that trigger it but to help them learn how to tolerate their anxiety and function as well as they can, even during their anxious moments. By doing this, their anxiety disorders will decrease or fall away over time.