Anxiety can be difficult at any age, but it can be especially hard for children. As a parent, you want to protect your kids at all costs. If they are suffering from anxiety, it can be hard to watch. There are several things you can do to help your children cope with the anxiety that they’ll be able to carry into adulthood.
According to the CDC, about 9.4% of children have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and since COVID that number appears to be rising. It’s important to remember that you likely won’t be able to eliminate anxiety from your child’s life, but you can help them manage it. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you help your child with their anxiety.
What is Anxiety in Children?
To start, anxiety is defined as an emotion characterized by feelings of tension and worried thoughts. It can be accompanied by physical symptoms like a rapid heartbeat, shaking and increased blood pressure. If you’ve experienced anxiety, you know how unpleasant it can be.
Children can have a difficult time expressing their feelings, and they won’t know what anxiety is when it’s happening to them. Signs of anxiety in children can include:
- Being scared when away from parents
- Extreme fears in certain situations such as going to the doctor or being around large dogs
- Being afraid of going to school
If you notice signs of anxiety in your child, it’s important to talk to a professional. You can also use these tips to help them cope with feelings of anxiety.
Tips for Helping Your Child Cope With Anxiety
You Can’t Eliminate Anxiety, But You Can Manage It
The most important thing to remember when your child is dealing with anxiety is that you can’y make it dissapear. Telling them not to worry about something or to calm down is only going to elongate the process. When you try to eliminate anxiety instead of teaching them to manage it, it can become a lifelong problem.
So, to do this you should teach them skills to cope with anxiety.Learning proper coping skills early will help your child be able to decrease their anxiety levels over time.
Keep Them Occupied
There are several toys on the market geared towards calming anxiety. Most of them are referred to as fidget toys. This includes fidget cubes, popping boards and many others. These toys are designed to help your child calm down when they’re feeling anxious by taking their mind off of it.
While the classic fidget toys are great, sometimes it’s good to think outside the box so that kids are building other skills at the same time. Clixo’s Tiny and Mighty packs up easily so you can take it with you everywhere. In addition to keeping your kid’s hands occupied, it also promotes spacial awareness, encourages creativity, and more!
Validate Their Feelings
Validating your child’s feelings when they’re feeling anxious is an essential part of the process. Remember that validation doesn’t mean you agree with them. You can express to your child that you understand that their feelings of fear and anxiety are valid without making them worse. Encourage your child to accept the fact that they are scared of something, but that you are there to help them through it.
Be a Role Model
You’ve surely been anxious at some point in your life, so let your child know that! If you are practicing the proper coping mechanisms for anxiety, you can share them with your child. Setting a good example will help your child to understand that stress and anxiety are a part of life, and there are healthy ways to deal with it.
The last thing you want to do is have your child see you be overwhelmed by anxiety. Of course, as a parent there will always be moments. You cannot always be the super hero. Just try to practice health tactics in front of your children to help their anxiety as well as yours.
To sum it up, anxiety is inevitable in life. Children have a difficult time managing it on their own, so it’s up to the parents to help them learn how to manage it. Along with coping mechanisms such as staying active and getting into therapy, toys can help as well. A little distraction goes a long way when a child is anxious in a doctor’s office!
Giving your child toys to play with such as Clixo’s magnetic building blocks will keep them busy and calm. Give it a try today!Back to the Blog