5 Parenting Strategies to Help Your Anxious Child
Anxiety disorders are a common experience for children today. While having an anxious child can be scary and stressful for parents, there are many ways you can help your anxious child cope.
I’m Christine Gierer, a child therapist at Silver River Counseling and here are 5 strategies that parents can use to better support and parent their anxious child.
First, Find out what your child’s anxiety triggers are and avoid them
Finding out what the root of your child’s anxiety is key. Identifying what those triggers are and avoiding them is a great way to minimize any anxiety attacks your child might have.
This might mean limiting stressful outings, switching up play dates with different friends, or even avoiding certain sensory stimuli. Keeping your child away from potential triggers will help them avoid anxiety attacks, which can be very scary for children.
Second, Make sure they have a safe place to go when they need it
When your child starts to feel anxious or worried, sometimes the only way to calm them down is with a safe place. A safe place can be anything from their bedroom, to a special anxiety-free corner, to even a small stuffed animal. You can offer your child their safe place when they are feeling anxious.
Keeping your child away from potential triggers will help them avoid anxiety attacks, which can be very scary for children.
Third, Encourage them to talk about their feelings with an adult or friend
Encouraging your child to talk about their anxiety can help them feel like they are not alone. If you notice that anxiety is becoming a problem, you should encourage your child to talk about their anxiety with you, a friend or family member.
Talking through the situation can help your child cope and work through their big emotions.
These are all great ways to help your child learn how to cope with anxiety in order to lessen feelings of anxiety.
Fourth, Help them develop positive coping skills like deep breathing, talking through problems, etc.
There are many ways that you can help your child develop more coping skills. Some powerful coping skills are deep breathing, talking through anxiety problems with a friend or family member, exercising, playing games, or even taking a warm bath.
Fifth, Be patient – don’t rush in or try to fix it right away, but instead listen to them
As a parent, it is important to try and remain calm through the anxiety episode. This will communicate to your child that you are there for them no matter what.
Helping your child work through their anxiety will never happen overnight so it’s best to wait before rushing in with quick fixes.
Sometimes it feels like supporting and parenting a child struggling with anxiety is so overwhelming you don’t know where to begin helping them. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
If you want to help your child at this critical time in their lives, schedule an appointment today to get the tools you need to help them grow.