Parenting a child with anxiety can be difficult at times. It can raise our own fears and anxieties. Keep reading to find out more about children and anxiety.
Children and Anxiety
All children experience anxiety at some point. Normal anxiety and nervousness appear when children are faced with unfamiliar or challenging situations, and a sensitive parent can listen to a child’s fears and encourage them to approach the challenge step-by-step, with appropriate support. Normal, manageable anxiety is one of the many hallmarks of growing up.
Parenting a Child with Anxiety
Some level of anxiety is normal for everyone, even children. When that anxiety starts interfering with school, eating, sleeping, and everyday functioning, your child may be facing a different level of anxiety.
Here are some tips in helping a child manage their anxiety:
Setting reasonable expectations is important. You can respect their feelings without empowering their fears. Although they may not want to go to school, you can listen empathetically while still encouraging them to face them. A parent should communicate that they know the child is afraid, and it’s okay to be afraid, but they’re going to try to go to school anyways, and the parent will be supportive and confident that the child will be able to handle it.
Modelling Healthy Behaviour
An important aspect of parenting a child with anxiety is modelling healthy behaviour yourself. Children are perceptive and look to their parents for cues on how to respond to everything, including stress and fear. By modelling a healthy response to life’s many stresses, a parent will be showing a child that although things can get tough, working through a problem calmly can be a rewarding experience.
If you are concerned about your child’s anxiety or have any questions please feel free to contact me.