If your child suffers from anxiety, you need to get them help as soon as possible. Anxiety can wreak havoc on a child's life, especially if they don't understand what's happening to them. Here are some steps you need to take to help your child overcome the anxiety that's taking hold of their life.
Make Sure Their Basic Needs are Met
If your child is suffering from debilitating anxiety, the first thing you need to do is make sure that their basic needs are being met. Children who are overtired, stressed, or aren't getting enough downtime may experience more bouts of anxiety.
To help reduce the occurrence of anxiety attacks, make sure your child is getting enough sleep at night, has plenty of time to relax and unwind, and is eating a well-balanced diet. It's also a good idea to limit their screen time, especially if devices are consuming the majority of their free time.
Give Your Child Permission to Worry
If your child is prone to worry, it may be tempting to offer advice that runs counter to what you should actually do. For instance, you may be tempted to tell your child not to worry.
However, that's not necessarily the best thing to tell a child who suffers from anxiety. Worry isn't always a negative thing. In fact, worry can help a child work through the issues that are bothering them.
If your child is worried and anxious, help them through the moment by reframing the issue. First, have them identify the issue that is causing them to worry. Second, have them tell you what the worry is telling them. Third, break the worry down into smaller components to find the root of the problem. Finally, discuss ways that your child can work through that particular problem.
Seek Professional Help for Your Child
If your child is suffering from anxiety, and your attempts to help them are falling short, it's time to seek professional help. Your first step towards help should be to speak to your child's primary care physician. If your child is school-age, you should also talk to a counselor at their school. They can provide you with a referral to a psychologist who can work with your child. A pediatric psychologist can help your child work through the issues that are causing them anxiety and can provide them with the tools they'll need throughout their lives.