Helping Children with Anxiety; Childhood Anxiety

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Most all of us have felt nervous, anxious and worried at some point in our lives. However; feeling this way on a regular basis is not considered normal, as it’s often a sign of an anxiety disorder. Sometimes these disorders start out in young children and progress over time. This is why if a parent sees a childhood anxiety disorder in their young one, it’s important to use certain strategies to help them cope with their symptoms.

The symptoms of anxiety in children are sometimes hard to diagnose, as children may often shut down, or
make excuses for their feelings of not wanting to participate in activities or go to school. Childhood anxiety symptoms often include

  • Anxiousness: If a child is constantly worrying about upcoming events or daily activities, this may be a sign of childhood anxiety.
  • Depression: If a child is often sad and depressed, this can definitely indicate a child anxiety disorder.
  • Nervousness If a child is developing a nervous habit, such as; biting their nails, this may be caused by anxiety.
  • Faking Illness: If a child is making excuses for not wanting to participate in activities or go to school, by faking being sick, this can definitely indicate a childhood anxiety disorder.

Child anxiety causes many emotional struggles within young children. It’s important for parents’ to recognize these symptoms and use strategies in order to help them deal with their anxiety. First off, parents must be able to identify whether or not the behavior is being passed on by their own anxiety. If a parent is often overly stressed or anxious, these feelings may easily be passed on to their child. So, parents must be willing to get help for themselves and be able to set a good example for their young one. Second off, being positive goes a long way. This means talking to the child about how these symptoms can be treated and how the child will be able to live a normal life with learned coping skills. Offer to put them into counseling, making it sound less severe than it really is. This means being excited about getting help together for these anxiety symptoms and being positive at all times. Lastly, when a child expresses their feeling about any upcoming issues that may be causing them anxiety, it’s best to try and put a positive twist on things. An example would be; if the family is getting ready to move to a new location and the child expresses
 feelings of nervousness, parents should try to talk about all of the positive things that will come about from this life changing experience. Such as; how the parent and child can work together to decorate the child’s new bedroom.

Overall, it’s essential to recognize childhood anxiety as early as possible. Anxiety may grow into depression or certain phobia disorders, if left untreated. So, parents must be willing to take time to help their child learn to cope with their symptoms in a positive way.

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