Unfortunately, anxiety is very common in children nowadays and it is an equally worrisome condition for parents. The feeling of anxiousness is a common part of human behaviour and it is obvious for children to be anxious at certain points, like the first day of school or a competition, but in such cases they feel better after some time. Anxiety can be a problem if your little one is stuck in a loop. In this case, their feelings can become overwhelming and an unmanageable experience for them that can really affect them in the long term. In this article, Dr. Nitin M, Consultant - Paediatrician & Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Electronic City, Bangalore, shares how parents can help their anxious child.
Knowing that your child is constantly anxious over things can be worrisome for you as parents. There is so much that you can do about it which includes providing emotional support as well.
Reasons behind the anxiousness
The first step towards dealing with anxiety starts with identifying the problems causing it. Your young one can feel anxious due to several factors like:
- Experiencing change in lots of things around them in a short time.
- If they have to deal with responsibilities beyond their age.
- Struggling at school or among friendships.
- Bullying, physical, or emotional abuse.
- Going through something traumatic.
- These were some of the most common causes behind children feeling anxiousness.
- What to do to deal with the situation?
- Not knowing enough about the condition can make it worse. Here are some ways to better deal with anxiety in children
Your goal should be to help your child manage the symptoms
Parents don't want their children to suffer from stress but removing the things that trigger it isn't the best way to deal with it. You need to prepare them to manage their stress.
Avoiding things can make a long-term problem - Telling a child to avoid things that trigger their anxiety can make things worse. It will make them feel relieved for a short term, but it reinforces the anxiety in the long term. It is better to help them face their fears with strategies and emotional support.
Give them realistic positivity - Don't give them unrealistic hope. Telling your kid that they are not going to fail the test or will have amazing friends in the new school is not realistic. Giving them encouragement is important but don't confuse it with false hope.
Respect their feelings - Don't tell them that their feelings are unrealistic, and they are worrying over small things. Feeling anxious is common in the situations of uncertainty and it can happen to anyone. At the same time, you also have to make sure that you don't amplify these feelings. Your child should not be stuck on it instead of finding ways to deal with it.
Talk - That is the most basic practice to deal with your child's emotional instability. Talking about their short-term fears like the upcoming test or changing school can help them in the long run and will also surround them with emotional support.
They do what they see - The way a child handles a situation is highly inspired by what they see around. Though there are a number of ways to deal with anxiety, it will have a great impact if you show them how you cope with it. Children are perspective and they learn from their parents. The solution is not in hiding feelings and acting tough but in acknowledging and dealing with them in healthy ways.
Though feeling anxious over things is really common in the contemporary world, it gets better with time but in some cases, it takes longer than expected to heal from it. With some basic practices, you can help your child deal with it. Don't hesitate to ask for professional help if necessary.
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