It isn’t just adults who suffer with anxiety, as many children can feel extremely anxious too. As a parent, you may feel helpless once you realize that your child is dealing with this mental health ailment, but rest assured that there are steps you can take to help your child cope and find contentment in each day.
Talk to a Professional
If you’re having difficulty communicating with your anxious child or your child is having trouble opening up to you and expressing their feelings, family psychiatry could help open up lines of communication and find the solutions that will bring ease and comfort to your child. A psychiatrist will also be able to determine if any medications would be appropriate for your child’s anxiety, or if there are other therapies that can be used to help your child overcome these negative emotions.
Don’t Tell Your Child It’s Okay
Believe it or not, telling your child that everything is fine and there’s no need to worry about anything is actually not a good idea. While your child may very well want to listen to your words and implement your advice, their mind won’t allow them to do so, and that can worsen the problem.
A better approach would be to stop for a moment with your child and spend time taking deep breaths together. This is because deep breathing, especially into the belly, will help calm down the nervous system. Then, empathize with your child and let them know that you understand how they feel and you’ve also felt anxious. Next, once your son or daughter has calmed down, work together to evaluate what can be done to help your child feel better, and give your child some tools that they can use to manage their anxiety.
Set a Good Example
In addition to telling your child that you know what it’s like to be anxious, you should also set an example with your actions when it comes to coping with anxiety. If you meditate to ease and clear your mind, teach your child to meditate with you. If you de-stress by getting active and exercising or doing yoga, teach your child to do the same. Or encourage your child to seek a creative activity that will help them cope with their anxiety in a positive way and release those negative emotions in a constructive manner. On the other hand, if you’re unable to cope with stress and you’re exhibiting anxious behavior or you complain to your friends or spouse all the time, you’ll be setting a bad example.
Consider Diet and Natural Remedies
Your child’s anxiety may be reduced by making some changes to their daily diet. Encourage your child to consume more anti-anxiety foods, such as asparagus, avocado, oranges, blueberries, and almonds. Also, talk to your child’s doctor about trying natural calming remedies, such as passionflower, lavender, or chamomile.
When your child suffers with anxiety, there’s no need to feel hopeless. With the right strategies in place, you can help your child find balance and peace.