Strategies To Help Your Anxious Child
5 Ways of Addressing Chronic Anxiety in Kids
It’s never easy for parents to see their kids worry. Although it’s normal for children to become worried about something, it’s a different story when they struggle with constant anxiety. Aside from missing significant social experiences, a child who suffers from chronic anxiety is more likely to perform poorly in academics. Moreover, their chances of developing an addiction to alcohol and drugs, later on, are extremely high.
What You Need to Know About Anxiety Disorders
Did you know that according to statistics, anxiety disorders affect one in eight American children? Children may normally feel anxious about being separated from their parents, having an argument with a friend, receiving poor grades, or not fitting in at school. However, kids who suffer from chronic anxiety worry constantly and excessively over every area of their lives.
Anxiety disorders are more than occasional bouts of stress because these cause significant changes in a person’s mood, behavior, and eating and sleeping habits.
Kids and teenagers can be affected by different types of anxiety disorders. They include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), separation anxiety disorder (SAD), social anxiety disorder, selective mutism (SM), and specific phobia.
Several factors may lead to the development of anxiety disorders. They include genetics, stressful life situations, the child’s brain chemistry, and their learned behaviors.
5 Helpful Strategies to Help Ease Your Child’s Anxiety
Does your child struggle with anxiety? Kids Car Donations shares these five helpful strategies that may help calm your anxious little one or teen.
- Encourage your child to slow down.
Help your child work through their worries by helping them cope. Some parents find it easier to slow down their children by helping them build their own coping kits, which they can use whenever they feel extremely anxious and stressed. In case you’re wondering, coping kits include deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation to calm the physical effects of the anxiety attack. You may encourage your child to use a stress ball, talk back to their worries while reframing their thoughts, write their anxiety in a journal, or seek help from an adult they trust.
- Don’t avoid triggers of your child’s anxiety.
To help your child learn to cope, avoid validating their anxious thoughts by avoiding what triggers them. The best way to help your little one work through their fears is to take baby steps in desensitizing them to their anxiety triggers. For instance, if your child becomes anxious whenever they’re around dogs, you don’t have to stay away from every dog you encounter because your child will think that all dogs are extremely dangerous.
You can help them better if you try talking to your child about how they feel while you show them different pictures of dogs. Once you’ve desensitized them in that area, you can start taking them to places where they can watch dogs playing at a distance or you can ask to visit a therapy dog. Allowing your child to take small steps instead of avoiding the triggers will help them overcome their anxiety.
- Teach your child to think positively.
In most cases, children and teenagers who are struggling with anxiety tend to think about the worst-case scenario in any given situation. With your help, they can learn to change the way they think. You can start by reminding them of instances in the past when they effectively dealt with a specific issue that’s similar to what they’re currently being anxious about.
- Be aware of your own behavior.
Whether you like it or not, your own behavior can have a very significant impact on your child. Research shows that parents who demonstrate perfectionist tendencies, over-protectiveness, “over-helping” behavior, controlling behavior or anxiety can worsen their child’s condition. If you want to build your kid’s resilience, you’ll need to admit your ineffective parenting strategies, take a step back, and give your child opportunities to figure things out for themselves.
- Seek professional help.
You’ll need to see your child’s pediatrician right away if their anxiety lasts for more than two weeks or if it’s starting to interfere with their daily lives. The pediatrician will recommend a mental health expert who can teach your kid how to cope with anxious thoughts while building their confidence.
Donate a Vehicle and Help Ailing Kids
If you want to help the ailing children and teenagers in your community, consider donating any type of vehicle to Kids Car Donations. We’ll auction off your vehicle to raise funds for our IRS-certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organization partners that cater to children and teens facing life-threatening illnesses and crippling disabilities. These nonprofits use the funding to provide their young beneficiaries with comprehensive and quality medical assistance, including free and easy access to vital health services, emotional support, and other essential health care services.
To show you our appreciation and gratitude for your charitable contribution, we’ll provide you with free towing service and a huge tax break in the next tax season.
Ready to Help Save Young Lives?
Are you ready to help save the lives of critically ill children and teens in your community? Call 866-634-8395 or fill out our online donation form to get started with your car donation now!