Supporting children with anxiety can be difficult, and often confronting for parents. It can be hard to know how to best support your child, and what may be causing their anxiety. There are so many conflicting viewpoints around childrens’ mental health, and it can be tough to know where to begin.
There are many different types of anxiety that children can experience. Some common ones include separation anxiety, school refusal, and social anxiety. Good mental health is key to development and wellbeing in kids, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of anxiety in children.
If you think your child may be struggling with anxiety, there are some things you can do to help.
- First and foremost, it’s important to be supportive. Children with anxiety often feel like they’re not good enough or that they’re not measuring up. So, it’s important to build their confidence and help them feel good about themselves.
- Try and create a calm environment at home. This means minimising stress and disruptions and providing plenty of opportunities for relaxation and fun.
- It’s important to be there for your child, to listen to their concerns, and offer reassurance. There are also some specific techniques that can help children to manage anxiety. Encouraging your child to face their fears gradually, starting with the least anxiety-provoking situations, can help them to build confidence and learn that they can cope. Helping them to develop a toolkit of relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualisation, can also be really helpful.
- Meditation and mindfulness are great for anxiety in both kids and adults. These include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualisation. There are many meditation groups geared to kids, but also, youtube videos, audio programs, and books designed to teach these skills.
- Seek professional help. Getting kids into good mental health practices early on is important, and reaching out to a mental health professional can be a great way to start that process. They can help get to the root of your child’s anxiety, and start to build a toolkit to manage their feelings.
- Reach out to other parents of anxious kids. You also need (and deserve) support in your parenting journey, and one of the best ways to do this is to spend time with people having the same problems. At CPPS we run workshops geared towards supporting children with anxiety, you can find more info here