How to Support your Child when they Experience Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry, or fear. It is a common experience among people of all ages, and a normal reaction to occurrences that may feel stressful. However, anxiety becomes problematic when an individual feels stuck in it. In this blog post, we will discuss how you can help your child manage their anxiety.

Your child may be experiencing anxiety and is unable to tell you.  Especially in young children, this emotion could present in a variety of ways, including your child: 

  •  feeling as if their heart is racing
  •  sweating or blushing
  • feeling sick to their stomach 
  • having trouble paying attention.
  • feeling nervous, out of control, or overwhelmed
  • becoming preoccupied by negative thoughts 
  • worrying about being unable to cope with everyday things like school and friendships

As a parent, it is critical to understand that your behaviors can have a strong influence on your child’s emotions. How you react to their anxiety has the potential to worsen it. Below are just a few ways you can help your child cope with their anxiety: 

  1. Express positive, realistic expectations. While you can’t entirely assure your child that their fears are unrealistic, you can show them that you believe they are strong enough to make it through moments of anxiety. This will help them have the confidence that your expectations are realistic and that you won’t ask them to do something they can’t handle. 
  2. Connect with your child. Encouraging your child to spend less time in front of screens and more time doing mindful activities they enjoy are both excellent ways to help them practice self care. Carving out quality time to spend one-on-one with them can also allow you to connect with them, and perhaps uncover the source of their anxiety. 
  3. Help your child recognize when they are anxious. If your child can recognize the signs of anxiety, they will know when they need to do something themselves or ask for help.  
  4. Don’t avoid things just because they make your child anxious. While this may make things better in the short term, it will only reinforce your child’s anxiety in the long term. If a child learns avoidance as a coping mechanism, that cycle will most likely continue to repeat itself. 
  5. Talk things through with your child when they are feeling anxious. This can be beneficial as it sometimes can help ease uncertainty. Talking about what triggers your child’s anxiety can allow you to work with them to develop a plan in the event that their fears come true. 

New Perspective Counseling is here to help

If you are struggling to parent your child through their anxiety– New Perspective Counseling is here to help. We have plenty of therapists specializing in family therapy, which often involves helping a parent learn new parenting techniques. This kind of therapy can help you: 

  • Better understand child development
  • Build skills that help you parent effectively
  • Strengthen your connection to your children

Please give us a call or make an appointment. We are here to help.