Stressed and Depressed: 4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety in Children

Every well-meaning parent doesn't want their child to experience the hardships of life. When they are dealing with children who are chronically anxious, they do things to make sure that their child does not suffer. But in the long run, they end up exacerbating their child's anxiety as their children don't learn how to deal with their triggers on their own.

This even happens to parents who work hard to anticipate their child's anxiety attacks. When parents try very hard to be in control of their child's fears, they end up making their child feel worse. So how do you escape the cycle of anxiety? How do you help your child deal with their stress?

The Signs Of Anxiety In Children

Picture this: all the kids have lined up for school, and your son suddenly tells you he can't ride the bus like he always does. He tells you he has a stomachache and has to go to the bathroom. You know he is feeling perfectly well, but suddenly he tells you this. This starts to happen every morning, you've checked his temperature, and he is perfectly well. What seems like a simple morning routine becomes a daunting task. 

What could have gone wrong? 

You look at your child, and he seems like he is overwhelmed with fear. You want to provide him comfort and ease his worries. You reassure him that there is no reason to worry. You remind him that you are always there for him. You resort to various tactics, but none of them seem to work. Your son looks even more terrified now than he has ever been.

What do you do? 

You begin to feel angry. You tell your child you've had enough of his foolishness and that he has to do what you told him to do. You begin to threaten him that you would not allow him to use his phone or his tablet for a week if he continues to act on his little drama. He looks at you and climbs on the bus. He feels defeated and alone. You, on the other hand, feel terrible. 

If this scenario looks all too familiar to you, then your child is definitely dealing with childhood anxiety. The worst part of this scenario is that you have played the role of the parent who wouldn't budge. The bad feeling you have is normal, and that could go on for as long as you handle your child's situation the same way every time. 

But for your child, the feeling only gets worse. And the lack of empathy from your end makes them feel bad about themselves. 

The "Do's" To Remember

No parent would ever wish to see their child unhappy. So when they begin to exhibit symptoms of anxiety, you begin to wonder how you can be of help to them. How can you be there for your child? 

You begin to ask yourself if there are natural remedies for anxiety in children. There are natural ways to help your child overcome their feelings of anxiety; however, you must remember that the goal is not to eliminate the stress because that feeling is perfectly normal. The focus should be on how you can help your child manage it. 

Here are the "do's" you need to remember when helping your child deal with their stress:

Do help them to learn how to tolerate the feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Feelings of anxiety come to every person. A memory may trigger some. For others, it is when they're in a particular situation. Others suffer from anxiety when they are around certain people. In order to help your child overcome his fear, don't focus on eliminating the triggers or other outside factors unless they are physically or mentally harmful. Instead, help them learn how to tolerate the feeling. In time, the anxiety will decrease and fall away. 

Do express positive yet realistic expectations.

You can't make false promises to your child, saying that what they fear is not real. For example, you can't tell them that they won't fail an exam or that another child won't laugh if they mispronounce a word. Instead, instill in them the value of self-confidence, that no matter what, he will be able to manage it. The goal is to make them face their fears, and over time, it will help lower his anxiety levels. 

Do show respect for their feelings. 

It is essential to understand that the validation of their feelings doesn't always mean agreeing to how they feel. So for example, if your child is terrified about going to the doctor because he is due for another shot, you don't want to belittle their feelings, but you don't want to amplify them either. 

So, what do you do? Listen to them and try to be empathetic. Tell them that you understand how they feel, but also remind her that she can face her fears because you are there to help her. Doing so will give your child the reassurance that they can do and overcome anything.

Do encourage your child to deal with their anxiety.

It takes a lot of work to deal with one's anxiety, so let your child do it. Let them tolerate their anxiety and what he needs to do to deal with it their own way. Not only are you helping them deal with anxiety, but you're helping them become more resilient. 

Eventually, you shouldn't be surprised that your child was able to deal with their fears and let go of their anxiety. That's the only way they can get rid of their worries. When they learn to deal with it, allow them to. 

Every person has their own way of dealing with stress, just like each person has their individual reasons for being anxious. Anxiety activities are not the same for everyone. Each one has his or her own unique set of fears

Is it possible to have child anxiety treatment at home? Can parents help their children deal with their own anxiety at home? Every parent can. For as long as they recognize that their child needs help and provides the assistance that they need, no child will ever have to go through their anxiety alone. 

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