Anxiety is a fact of life. It can even serve as a protection, but there are cases where anxiety is a detriment. Mental health experts have noted that very young children are suffering from anxiety disorders. How can you help your child cope with anxiety?
Is It Just A Phase?
There are plenty of reasons for a child to be anxious, and this can make it difficult to discern whether their child is having growing pains or a health problem. Doctor’s gauge whether or not there is a disorder by the extent to which the anxiety impacts quality of life.
How much does anxiety cause the course of the child’s life to differ from what would be considered normal? For example, many children experience anxiety over speaking in class. A child who has an anxiety disorder might become violently ill or skip school because of having to give an oral report.
See A Doctor
A parent who has concerns is wise to consult a doctor to determine how much treatment a child will need. For children and adults, cognitive behavioral therapy is the gold standard for treatment of anxiety.
This therapy teaches a child how to think through anxious moments. With time, a very anxious child can learn to manage the disorder so that it does not let to panic attacks and other stress-related health problems.In more serious cases, medication is also used to control anxiety.
Be A Role Model
Parents should become familiar with the thinking patterns their child learns. Make a habit of verbally applying these methods within the family. Lead by example.
Teach coping mechanisms just as ABCs are taught. Make it normal and fun to cope. Help children to understand that anxiety is an illness that can be treated, just like a cut or a cold.