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Tips on how to handle a Child Struggling with Anxiety

Recent research on mental health in children show that in every five children, at least one child will experience some type of anxiety by the time they get to the adolescence stage. Anxiety in children may present itself in various ways such as being very afraid when away from parents, having extreme fear about a specific thing or situation such insects, dogs or going to the doctor, being afraid of school or other social gatherings as well as being worried about the future and bad things happening. In as much as the feeling of anxiety in some kids does not last, for others it may last for quite a while especially if proper help is not provided to the child. Therefore, if your child is struggling with anxiety, you should do everything you can to ensure that he or she overcomes it and leads a normal healthy life. Highlighted below are a few pointers you should look at as a parent or caregiver to help your child escape the cycle of anxiety.

It is highly advisable to first help your panicked child to relax before trying to reason with him or her. To make your child relax first, you should encourage him or her to do some breathing exercises. Teaching your child to do deep breathing when anxious is an easy and effective way of helping them deal with stressful situations even when you are not around as they can self-soothe.

The other tip to helping your child escape the cycle of anxiety is through positive affirmation. Positive thoughts are important for children dealing with anxiety, hence the need to take a moment and celebrate your child’s strengths as well as have daily affirmation practice. Expression of positive but realistic expectations of your child is also an effective step towards ensuring that they overcome anxiety. If your child is feeling anxious about a test or going skating, you should express confidence that he or she is going to be okay and that he or she will manage it rather than promising them that his or her fears are unrealistic and that he or she will not fail the test or will have fun skating, as this will only add up to the anxiety. Your child’s confidence levels will increase and anxiety levels drop once you express the positive but realistic expectation of him or her as the child will not have to worry about being asked to do things that they feel they cannot handle.

You should also encourage your child to face their fears and tolerate their anxiety. By letting your child know that you appreciate the work he or she does to tolerate anxiety to lead a normal life, you will be able to encourage him or her to engage in life more which in turn results in the drop in anxiety level.

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