As adults, we know how bad stress and anxiety can be for our bodies and minds. But what about our children? Even young children have anxiety issues sometimes and many will go on to have anxiety disorders that will plague them the rest of their lives. Unless you treat it early. You may be thinking, “what does a kid have to worry about?” but the truth is, they may worry even more than we adults do. Even as young as one year old, children can have separation anxiety from their parent leaving to go to work or anywhere else. Actually, all babies have some degree of separation anxiety every time one of their parents walks away but, in some children, it can become really bad. We are going to discuss some ways you can help your child with their anxiety.
Signs of Anxiety
First of all, you have to figure out what your child is anxious about. Depending on their age and what is causing the anxiety, they may actually need to speak to a counselor. For example, if your child is having anxiety attacks, is being bullied, or their grades are dropping, you may want to consider getting your child a counselor. But they may not just tell you they are anxious. You may have to figure it out on your own. Here are some signs that your child may be anxious. For more information, check out Betterhelp.com
- Becoming clingy, crying, and cranky
- Not sleeping well
- Waking up several times at night
- Wetting the bed
- Having nightmares
- Wanting to stay home from school
- Having trouble concentrating
- Lack of confidence
- Sleeping and eating changes
- Angry outbursts
- Racing thoughts
- Trouble making decisions
- Bouts of crying
- Avoiding friends or family
- Talking about death or suicide
Communication is Essential
First of all, talk to your child. Let them know that you understand and that they can talk to you. Explain to them that everyone has some worries and that it is normal to be nervous or anxious about some things but encourage them to talk about it. Communication with your child is essential in all aspects of anxiety and emotional issues to serious life and death situations that may occur down the road. Your child has to know that they can come to you with anything and that you will not judge them, laugh at them, or get mad at them.
Try to get your child to exercise with you. Take a walk in the park or around the neighborhood, do some indoor exercises, or just have them help you do some housework or work in the yard. Any kind of physical exertion is good to reduce anxiety and improve mood because it increases the endorphins in your body, which improves your mood. You and your child may want to join an exercise class or start a weekly routine of hiking or biking. This can benefit both of you physically as well as mentally.
Talk to Someone
If your child is really suffering or you are worried about their mental health, having them talk to a counselor is a good idea. You do not even have to have them go to an office. You can do it online at www.betterhelp.com and this will make things easier for them. Many children have trouble talking to adults about their thoughts and feelings, but they love the internet, texting, and messaging so online counseling can be a fun thing for them to do. Just give it a try and you and your child may be surprised at how much it really helps.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.