How to Help a Child with Anxiety: 21 Things You Should Know
As a child therapist who specializes in anxiety, I work with parents every week who have questions and misperceptions about anxiety. Anxiety can be confusing at times and being a parent of anxious kids can be exhausting! Parents want to know how to help a child with anxiety? I always start off with helping parents understand these 21 things.
Below are 21 things every parent of anxious kids should know:
1. General Anxiety Disorder in children runs in families and has a strong genetic component.
2. Anxiety doesn’t have to be caused by trauma. Most often it’s not.
3. Your anxious children know their fears are irrational.
4. Anxiety doesn’t have to be triggered by anything. Just like Diabetes, kids can develop anxiety at any age.
5. Anxiety grows bigger when children avoid anxiety-producing situations.
6. Anxiety can make kids physically sick. Some physical anxiety symptoms include stomach aches, headaches and difficulty breathing.
7. Kids with anxiety are more likely to pull their hair out or pick scabs for no reason.
8. Anxiety in children under ten is common, in fact it can show up in kids as little as one or two.
9. When parents give in and let their anxious children avoid school continuously, they are more likely to be homeschooled eventually.
10. Anxiety is cyclical and can come and go over time.
11. Children with anxiety tend to be more emotionally intelligent.
12. Anxious kids tend to be better at reading social cues and body language.
13. Anxious kids spend much of their time thinking of “what if” thoughts.
14. Kids with worries are more likely to have a harder time with change.
15. Anxious kids are more likely to have heightened senses.
16. Young children with anxiety are more likely to be picky eaters.
17. Your anxious kids want to get rid of anxiety more than you know.
18. Anxious kids are less likely to face their fears if their parents don’t gently encourage them to do so.
19. Anxious kids can have panic attacks in their sleep. They do not have to be triggered by stress.
20. Intelligent kids can have worries that don’t make sense. Like a fear of sharks at the bottom of a pool.
21. Anxious kids don’t have to be a victim to their anxiety. With skills and tools, they can be empowered to crush their anxiety.
Do you have tips on how to help a child with anxiety? Leave a comment below. Do you know someone who could benefit from understanding how to help a child with anxiety? Share this article with them.
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If you need additional support with anxiety seek out child anxiety treatment with a child therapist. You can also take a parenting e-course to learn how to teach your child to crush anxiety. Taught by a child therapist, you will be given all the skills to help your child fight back.