As an adult, you must have experienced anxiety and stress at several points in time, and what we often tend to forget is that our children too, experience these difficult emotions- sometimes more often than it is for them to handle.
If you suspect your child is experiencing anxiety, don’t be worried- there is actually a lot you can do to help. Keep reading to discover what you should and shouldn’t do when your child is suffering from anxiety.
Detecting Anxiety in Kids
So how exactly do you detect anxiety in your child, and make out the difference between if it is a part of growing up or something serious that needs to be dealt with? Here are a few pointers to get you started and detect anxiety in your little one.
- Your child has become clingy and too attached to you suddenly- much more than he used to be.
- You find your child getting irritated quickly – even over little things.
- Your child has bad dreams.
- Your child has started bedwetting.
- Your child has trouble sleeping or gets up frequently in the night.
- Your child is shy and has low self-esteem and confidence issues.
- He finds it hard to focus and concentrate at school or at any task given to him.
- He has started avoiding certain activities and/people.
What to Do
As a parent, there’s actually a lot you can do to help your child if he’s prone to anxiety. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Set positive, but realistic expectations from your child. You might be too worried about how his anxiety would affect his life, but remember to be slow when it comes to expecting progress from him- let him take his time to learn how to deal with stuff that makes him feel anxious and uncomfortable.
- Remember that you can’t expect your child to get rid of his anxiety just like that- it is a process, and in the end, he can learn how to deal with it and manage it.
- Most importantly, learn to respect your child’s feelings and emotions- the fear, anxiousness he faces may not seem logical to you, but try and be empathetic as much as you can.
- Be your child’s biggest support- help him learn new ways to tackle his anxiety and appreciate him whenever he handles a situation on his own.
What Not to Do
And here’s what you shouldn’t do to help your child escape from the vicious cycle of anxiety.
- Don’t try to protect and shield your child too much from the situation that’s triggering his anxiety- this will only make him incapable of understanding how to deal with it. Instead, help him experience such situations occasionally so that he can develop a healthy coping mechanism.
- Don’t reinforce your child’s fears- if you find him worrying and stressing out about something, don’t join him- it will only increase his fear and anxiousness about the situation. Instead, be calm and supportive and let your child know that there’s nothing to worry about.