Three Ways to Help Kids With Anxiety
Is your child a worrier? Anxiety in kids is real. Excessive worrying in children might show up when he throws up every day before school, she has to know your whereabouts at all times, she can’t sleep in her own bed, he is afraid of a family member dying, and she worries so much about what peers think so it stifles decision making.
Stress is Real
These are real issues and the pandemic has elevated anxiety in children. Causes of anxiety include genetics as anxiety often runs in the family tree, past experience such as being bullied, or temperament. Summer is a great time to help your child and teach new coping skills.
One way to help your child is to teach him or her how to identify triggers. What precipitates the anxiety? Your child might not want you to leave him and when you go to the store he worries you’ll get in a car accident. Once you know the anxiety trigger, teach your child to decide if it is a rational or irrational fear. Thus, you leaving is the triggering event that leads to his irrational fear of an accident. This takes lots of discussion as well as teaching him how to self-calm through breathing.
Second, use books or a program. To help a younger child, you could read What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety with your child. For a teen you can read The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution by David Clark. Younger children often benefit from using the Coping Cat program with their parent. You can learn more at www.copingcatparents.com.
Finally, if needed, seek a professional counselor. There are many counselors that use a cognitive behavioral therapy approach to treatment. This type of counseling helps your child change negative thoughts into more positive thoughts.Counseling helps children cope with and manage anxiety symptoms while gradually exposing them to their fears to help them learn skills. PsychologyToday.com is one good source.
Call us if we can help you help manage anxiety in kids (561) 625 4125.