Toddler, Tween & Teen Advice

Counteracting Anxiety in Children

“Feel free & live your life”

“I’m scared they won’t come back”

“Don’t believe everything you think”

“Act the way you want to feel”

“A happy child is a thriving child”

Symptoms & Signs of anxiety in your child

Symptoms could range from physical to emotional and have various onsets whereby the duration could vary from time to time.

Physical symptoms may be non-verbal signs like nervous fidgeting more often than usual, showing aggression which is out of character like shouting, tantrums and showing frustration.

The child acts different than usual, may show more tiredness, stomach aches, muscle tension, trouble sleeping, sudden nightmares, restlessness during waking hours, irritability and lack of concentration

Emotional symptoms: Acting more emotional than other times, excessive worry most days of the week, more sensitive and crying more often, defensiveness and some reactions could be unexpected.

Things that could play a role or could cause anxiety:

  • Genetics
  • Brain Biochemistry
  • Worries
  • Onset of an event
  • Panic attacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Overactive flight-fight response
  • Stressful life circumstances 
  • Learned behaviour
  • Bullying
  • Death of a loved one
  • Divorce of parents
  • A child with a family member who has an anxiety disorder has a greater chance of also developing an anxiety disorder 

Possible ways of counteracting Anxiety in your child 

  • Notice the signs early on in child’s life to prevent any further development of anxiety 
  • Once you have identified the signs if is recommended that you have a conversation with your child to figure out why child has become anxious and what are the cause/causes of his/her behaviour
  • Worries could feel like a burden to a child and could also affect their social activities and interactions with their peers. It could create feelings of being overwhelmed & feeling out of control, that is why it is crucial to make the child feel save to communicate and build trust
  • Children worry about their sudden fear and sometimes do not know why they feel the way they feel and also feel confused and isolated
  • These problems can affect a child’s day-to-day functioning with reaching goals and concentrating on daily tasks. These children could be misunderstood and misinterpreted most of the time. One should work patiently with the child to reach a positive outcome

Help your child cope

  • Acknowledge the problem 
  • Provide support in an unconditional way
  • Talk openly with your child about how she/he feels in a non-judgemental way
  • Provide comfort, communication and assist child to cope with feelings and assure child that he/she is save and loved
  • Remind child that letting go of fear and obstacles, it makes room for fun and enjoyment
  • Your child could overcome any obstacle and also learn additional coping skills in how to cope with new future challenges on the way

A therapist could look at the symptoms in-depth and also confirm, diagnose and create a plan to help child with coping and with future onsets.

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