How To Help Your Child Manage Anxiety

Anxiety

Does your kid get anxiety attacks during exams? Does he/she fear to speak in public? Or does your child get anxious every time he/she interacts with visitors at home? Do you find your child continually worrying about every little issue in his/her life? Watch out; even kids can suffer from chronic anxiety, according to counsellors.

‘‘Usually, anxiety means a disturbing apprehension about the future,’’ says Srishti Saha, consultant clinical psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Kolkata. ‘‘Generally, anxiety occurs in response to the expectation of a threat or a possible misfortune.” For instance, your child may persistently worry about losing his/her pet, even though there’s no immediate threat to the pet’s health. Before such bouts of anxious thoughts go beyond control, help your child manage any debilitating worry that can affect his/her overall well-being.

Here are some expert-backed basic anxiety management steps you can follow:

Do You Have Anxiety Issues?

Ask yourself, are you a constant worrier? Be careful; your persistent thoughts of doom and gloom can affect your child as well. Set an example to your child – show him/her that although you feel worried, you are making efforts to control negative thoughts and stop panicking.

It’s Okay To Worry

Tell your kids not to be anxious about being anxious – it’s okay to worry sometimes. Counsellors say that worrying is a kind of protection mechanism for us – by amplifying perceived threats, our brain sometimes alerts us to dangers ahead, and that helps us to do something about tough situations. So, highlight the positive side of worrying. But, of course, too much of worrying is not okay.

Anxiety

Let Them Face Fears

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should put your kids in risky situations. Just encourage them to open up about what makes them anxious about a particular situation. If your child gets anxious about, say, going for any exam, help him/her take mock exams first. If he/she is scared of failing, tell your child that it’s okay to miss the mark sometimes – one needs to soldier on and do better next time. Whatever the case may be, tell your child not to avoid things he/she is anxious about.

Mindfulness Exercises

Chalk out a combat strategy to help your child deal with anxiety. For instance, help your child exercise regularly, which can make him/her feel energised and ready to take on the world. Even little things can help – for instance, when your child starts feeling anxious, ask him/her to focus on deep breathing for a while. In other words, mindfulness exercises are highly recommended.

Seek An Expert


If all such efforts fail, seek a counsellor’s help. Do not wait for a chronic condition to disappear by itself. A few sessions with a counsellor or a child psychologist can help in mitigating your child’s anxiety attacks. Maybe there are some festering psychological issues underneath, and you need to tackle them on a war footing.

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