Danny Pine, a child and adolescent expert reports one in five children will experience some form of anxiety by the time they reach young adulthood. While it’s common at ages 3-5, the average age is 11. Genetics contribute to developing anxiety. As explained in a previous post the goal is not to suppress anxiety, but to manage it. Along with expert care, here is what parents can do for a child with anxiety.
It’s terrifying for them. Teasing doesn’t help. Parents should be on the lookout for anxious feelings that can last a few weeks. factors include Exposure to stress, tension at home, poverty, and neighborhoods violence. Physical signs that manifest are stomach, headache, or vomiting. Usually, there is a change in a child’s behavior, sleep, eating., or mood. Triggers are little things such as homework, test, or making mistakes. Parents may not expect them to worry about recess, lunchtime, birthday parties, playtime with friends, or riding the school bus.
It’s Takes Practice
It’s a delicate balance of respecting their feeling without encouraging fears. We know parents’ first instinct is wanting them to feel better. Unfortunately protecting their anxious feelings can unintentionally make thinged worse. Practice teaching them how to deal with anxiety. In an uncomfortable situation, a parent can help their child cope by explaining that they will be okay. Avoid making lofty promises of nothing bad happening.
Don’t Enable Their Anxieties
Parents can model their coping strategies for anxiety. Showing confidence that they are ready to face their fears. It’s possible to express without enabling their panic. Don’t use leading questions. Your tone of voice and body language demonstrate calm, which your child will mirror. Keeping kids distracted is essential.
Have a Plan For Their Mental Health
Once you find a therapist, don’t miss any appointments. Discuss with the therapist what is the best to help your child. Cognitive-behavioral therapy help kids develop a plan. CBT is talk therapy. Parents can use rewards as they progress.
Books For Parents
Having a plan to calm anxiety is great and reading about it can empower you. There are books to help parents with their kid's mental health. These books have been recommended by psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals.
Free Your Child From Anxiety: Helping Your Anxious Child by Tamar E. Chansky- Written by five psychology experts who use cognitive-behavioral therapy to ease children’s worries. There is valuable information on how to build emotional resilience.
The Happy Kid Handbook by Katie Hurley-Clinical Social Worker Katie Hurley details why play is crucial for kids. It’s a great help for negative self-talk. And puts together the pieces of the parenting puzzle.
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Ferber and Elaine Mazlish- Adele Ferber and Elaine Mazlish wrote this book to educate parents h0wo to respond to their kids’ feelings, including anger and frustration. This beloved book shows how to unlearn bad habits.
Anxious Teen by Sheila Achar Josephs- Josephs tackles perfectionism, panic attacks, and triggers for stress. It‘s a powerful resource with tried and true strategies.
Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott- The psychology expert responsible for coining, “helicopter parent” book has been updated. With this best -seller parents can learn his tactics. He promotes discipline without threats, bribes, or sarcasm.
For parents of teens, teenage angst and hormones are hard to guide. Understand they are not beyond help. Contact us if your child is experiencing suicidal thoughts or any troubling behavior.