How to help your anxious child.
Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in children and adolescents, with 1 in 8 kids experiencing an anxiety disorder. If your child is struggling with anxiety, you may feel helpless and alone. But the good news is that there are things you can do to help. Here are some tips for parents of anxious children.
1. Understand what your child is going through. The first step in helping your child is to educate yourself about anxiety. This will help you understand what your child is experiencing and how to best support them. There are many excellent books about childhood anxiety, such as "The Worried Child" by Dr. Jennifer Shannon.
2. Be patient and understanding. It can be difficult to watch your child suffer, but it's important to be patient and understanding. Remember that your child is doing the best they can, and try not to get frustrated with them. Children do not like to feel scared, anxious and upset.
3. Normalize Your Child's Experience. It is common for children to feel anxious from time to time. Just like adults, children can get overwhelmed by their thoughts and feelings. Let your child know that it is okay to feel this way and that you are there for them no matter what.
4. Seek professional help if necessary. If you're concerned about your child's anxiety, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A trained mental health professional can assess whether your child has an anxiety disorder and develop a treatment plan accordingly. Many children benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.
If your child is struggling with anxiety, know that you are not alone—and there are things you can do to help. Education is key; learn all you can about childhood anxiety so that you can better understand what your child is going through. Be patient and understanding, and set a good example by managing your own stress in healthy ways. If necessary, seek professional help from a trained mental health professional who can provide evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.
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