So many children are anxious about one thing or another. They have worries. They have fears.
We think that our children will grow out of them and many children will. But how do you know when the anxiety is a problem and it won’t just go away? Parents can’t just ignore it – mainly because it will have an effect on the child’s school life, their friendships and wanting to engage in activities.
Identifying Anxiety in Children
Look out for these signs to see if your child is suffering from anxiety:
- Our children will want reassurance about what is going to happen and even when we try and give reassurance to them, they will keep asking for more. They will ask lots of questions about something in particular and keep on repeating themselves. Questions such as ’What’s going to happen?’ or ‘What if x happens?’
- They may have a negative thought that gets stuck in their head that they can’t get rid of it.
If we can catch the anxiety early then we can give children the strategies to deal with that anxiety. They don’t always have to run away from it but it will help if they know what they should do when they come up against it.
Useful Strategies for Dealing with Anxiety in Children
- Gently encourage your child to face the situation.
- Start with small steps to confront the fear.
- Reward them regardless of how brave they have been whilst facing their fear.
- Let them know that they can talk about the worry with you and you won’t judge them.
I hope that these tips help you to recognise anxiety in your child and start trying to deal with it. Feeling anxious isn’t pleasant but parents can do something to help their child tackle their anxiety and face the future with more confidence.