Imagine that your child is having difficulty dealing with the stress of school. They just can’t concentrate on what’s happening around him/her.
The little things are starting to upset them, like going to class and making friends. Or maybe they’re having trouble sleeping and fighting with their parents at night. They may get anxious and nervous before exams but don’t know how to cope with their anxiety.
It can be so severe that they start to have panic attacks. This can lead to PTSD or Major Depressive Disorder (MCD) diagnosis.
If you notice anxiety in your child, it is vital to address it early on so that it does not develop into something worse.
Respect Their Feelings, but Don’t Empower Them
It’s important to respect your child’s feelings, but don’t empower them by giving them the impression that their anxiety is a problem that needs solving. You can help your child feel better about their symptoms by showing empathy and understanding and providing reassurance that there’s nothing wrong with their behavior.
It may be tempting to offer suggestions for better coping with their symptoms, but this can make your child feel like they’re not in control of their emotions or reactions. Your goal should be to help them feel more empowered by giving them information about what’s happening inside their heads.
Encourage Them To Take Up Spirituality
Spirituality is a wonderful way to deal with anxiety. It helps kids understand that there is more to life than the here and now. It teaches them to focus on their inner strength and develop a positive view of the world around them.
If you have a child struggling with anxiety, encourage them to take up spirituality as an activity. There are many ways you can help your child learn more about spirituality: by talking about religion, sharing stories from the Bible, or reading religious books together.
You might also consider taking your kid to visit Sunday church, where they can spend time in peace. Also, the spiritual leaders there have followed the discipleship curriculum that helps kids develop good habits like meditation and prayer. Plus, they will make your kid comfortable talking about their feelings and fears without judgmental eyes or whispers around them.
Don’t Reinforce the Child’s Fears
If your child is afraid of the dark, don’t tell them that it’s not safe. Tell them that you are there to protect them and help them feel secure.
If your child is afraid of certain animals, don’t tell them they are scary. Instead, encourage them to get close to whichever animal they are afraid of and learn more about it.
If your child is afraid of heights, instead of telling them not to be scared, try to help them understand why they might be afraid—that they might have a phobia or simply be scared by heights in general. An ideal way to do this is through role-playing with a parent or trusted adult who can act as the “stranger” who is suddenly very close to the child and may frighten her in some way (for example, by running past her while playing with a ball).
In The End
Don’t wait until you think your kids are experiencing real problems to start helping them cope with their anxiety. Do a general check-up and help them discuss their anxiety—but try not to make it heavy. Make sure you both have fun and end the ‘weird’ exercise positively and lightly. If you aren’t sure whether your kids have an anxiety disorder, talk to their school counselor or doctor to find out if there is something to worry about.