Some children are as carefree as butterflies, flitting around the world and blissfully unaware of its problems. Others are more serious and take frightening matters to heart. If you have a child who displays symptoms of anxiety, there are next steps. In the meantime, remind your child over and over again that they are loved and safe. In an uncertain world, be the certainty for your nervous child.
Examine Their Behavior
Knowing the signs of anxiety is key in identifying it in your little one. If you’re unsure what to look for and would like more detail on the matter, consult your pediatrician. Doctors like Jack J Wu work hard for every patient and will be happy to help you. Some signs to look out for might include:
- Agitation. Your kiddo is nervous and constantly on edge. They always seem troubled and may be subject to fits of crying, stomach aches and refusing to go to school.
- Poor focus. Are they so busy concerning themselves with world events that they can’t pay attention to the teacher?
- Avoidance. Suddenly they are terrified of going to soccer practice, or they don’t like to discuss what happened at school anymore.
Talk to a Professional
If you think that your child is displaying signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or another anxiety issue, contact a therapist who specializes in working with children. These mental health professionals have resources for parents to help them cope with these worrying behaviors at home. Having your child speak to someone about their fears can help them sort them out in their own minds and make them seem less scary.
Let your child know that they are free to come to you anytime they are scared or worried about something. Talk to them about their feelings. Check in with them if you feel like something might be bothering them. If they are unwilling to talk, there are a number of good books that address childhood anxiety.
- Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
- What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What-to-Do Guides for Kids) by Dawn Huebner and Bonnie Matthews
- Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cook and Anita DuFalla
It can be scary if you are uncertain how to help your child but fear not. Be that strong place for your child and get them the help they need in a calm, stress-free manner.