How Parents Can Help Children Struggling with Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in North America, affecting over 18% of the population. This can be a difficult statistic for parents to face, as anxiety disorders can be extremely debilitating for children. If you are a parent of a child who is struggling with anxiety, don’t worry—you are not alone. There are many ways that you can help your child to overcome their anxiety and live a happy, healthy life. In this article, we will discuss some of the best ways to deal with anxiety in children.
Try to Understand Your Child’s Anxiety
If you’re not sure what’s causing your child’s anxiety, it’s important to talk to your child’s doctor or a child counsellor. An anxiety counsellor or anxiety therapist can work with your child to identify the source of their anxiety and develop coping mechanisms. They can also help you figure out if your child’s anxiety is just a phase or if there is something more serious going on. As a parent, it is important to understand that anxiety is a normal and healthy emotion. It only becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with daily life.
Practice Healthy Ways to Handle Anxiety
Once you have a better understanding of what is causing your child’s anxiety, you can start working on ways to help them cope. One way to do this is to practice healthy ways to handle anxiety together. This might include things like deep breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and positive thinking. It’s also important to make sure that your child is getting enough exercise and sleep. Try to create a calm and supportive environment at home. This will help your child feel safe and loved, which can go a long way in helping them cope with anxiety.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
One of the most important things you can do is talk to your child about their anxiety. Ask open-ended questions and encourage them to share their feelings. This allows the child to express themselves without feeling like they are being interrogated. If the child is reluctant to talk, a parent can try asking questions about activities that the child enjoys or about school. Once the child starts talking, it is important to listen carefully and refrain from providing solutions. Instead, focus on reassuring the child that they are not alone and that you are there to support
Don’t Support Your Child’s Fears
Speaking of support, it can be difficult to watch your child suffer from anxiety, but it’s important to resist the urge to protect them from their fears. This may seem counterintuitive, but anxiety thrives on avoidance. The more you try to shield your child from their anxiety, the more power you give it. It’s important to offer support and encouragement, but ultimately your child needs to face their anxiety head-on in order to overcome it.
Express Positive and Realistic Expectations for Your Child
As a parent, you play an important role in helping your child manage anxiety by expressing positive and realistic expectations for them. This means letting them know that anxiety is normal and that they can manage it. There is also a fine line between encouraging your child to face their anxiety head-on and putting pressure on your child or forcing them to do things they’re uncomfortable with. Ultimately, you should listen to your child without judgement and help them to find effective coping strategies.
Visit Family Matters Centre for Anxiety Therapists in Burlington
If your child is struggling with anxiety, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources and support groups available for parents of children with anxiety.
At Family Matters Center, we understand how anxiety can negatively impact a child’s life. That’s why we offer a variety of services to help children struggling with anxiety, including anxiety counselling and therapy Burlington, as well as group therapy.
Our anxiety counsellors and therapists work with children to help them understand and cope with their anxiety. We also offer parenting therapy to help parents better support their child through anxiety. Our goal is to help children learn how to manage their anxiety so that it doesn’t rule their lives.
If you are concerned about your child’s anxiety, call us today at (905) 466-8023 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment.
by Shari Markovich
Shari is a Child Therapist who has worked with children and adolescents for more than 20 years. She uses a variety of counselling modalities, including Theraplay®, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Family Systems. She is motivated to work with children and parents so families can function in healthy and supportive ways.