Now more than ever, anxiety is something that people tend to be living with and having to learn how to manage. If you’re an adult or even a teenager, it’s generally much easier for you to express what you’re feeling and get the help that you need. But for children, their anxiety can often be overlooked and attributed to something entirely different. As the parent or caregiver, it’s vital that you know how to care for your child and any anxieties that they may be facing. So to help you do this, here are three ways you can help your child deal with anxiety.
Don’t Be Too Avoidant
Every parent wants to protect their child and help them avoid harm or danger. But if your child is suffering from anxiety, you want to be careful that you’re not enabling them too much and allowing them to avoid too many things or situations. According to Dr. Clark Goldstein, a contributor to ChildMind.org, being too avoidant can reinforce to your child that their anxieties are warranted and necessary for coping. But if you’re hoping to help your child work through their emotions and move forward, they have to face these fears at some point.
Bring Them Back To The Present
A big part of what anxiety stems from is not knowing about the future. You may have found that your child get nervous or anxious about things that they think might happen. To help with this, Renee Jain, a contributor to the Huffington Post, recommends that you help your child move from “What if” to “What is”. This means that rather than focusing on what they think could happen and speculating until they become paralyzed with anxiety, have them talk about what actually is happening in the present. This can help them to be more mindful of when they’re thinking too much about the future and what could happen rather than what actually is happening in the present.
Give Them Time To Relax and Unwind
One great thing you can do for your child is help them find time where they can relax and get away from the things that generally cause them anxiety. According to Dr. Amy Przeworski, a contributor to Psychology Today, this should be something that is purely for fun and gives them joy. While doing something physical can work, that often causes competition, which often triggers kids with anxiety. You may want to consider doing things like yoga, painting, or just being silly together.
If you have a child that is having to deal with anxiety in their young life, consider using the tips mentioned above to help them find ways to cope and manage these feelings in a safe and healthy way.