Anxiety is a term that is commonly used to describe feelings of being overwhelmed and not being able to draw on strategies to help cope with stressors. This is a common term because EVERYONE deals with anxiety and it is not a bad or abnormal thing. Some anxiety motivates us to do things, pushes us to do things that are difficult and even helps us to get out of bed every morning. It is normal for every person to have some amount of anxiety from time to time, but when anxiety begins affecting your child's school and home functioning, there are many things you can do to help your child in addition to possibly consulting a mental health professional.
- Listen to your child's worries and fears and remind them that they are not alone and that other kids have worries too
- Help children address their concerns and if they are not realistic, help them see the truth
- Help your child gradually ease into new situations that may cause anxiety and provide encouragement when they are in these situations. Do not run away from difficult situations.
- Practice relaxing including deep breathing, counting to 10, visualizations (taking a pretend field trip to the relaxing beach or a peaceful meadow), and listening to calming music
- Promote your child's independence and build on their strengths