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How Do I Help My Daughter With Anxiety

Identifying Triggers In Your Marriage

How Do I Help My Child Cope with Anxiety?

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lias story, youll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Connecting Teen Depression And Anxiety

As an anxiety expert, I often talk to teens who are also depressed. Why?

Because an untreated anxiety disorder in a child is one of the top predictors of developing depression as a teen or young adult, a fact that most teens and parents are unaware of. And because anxiety is the chief mental health complaint of young people, itâs not surprising that rates of depression in teens is increasing.

Adolescence is often the time when longer term issues with anxiety and worry become more intense and isolating. The challenges of social life and increased academic pressures push kids toward brand new experiences and responsibilities, along with the shadow side of hesitation and insecurity.

Specific learning difficulties can surface as students take on more complicated tasks or have to speak up in class. Sports become more demanding, and hormones can wreak havoc with appearance. Whether social, intellectual or physical, anything can serve as a source of worry.

Teens are caught between wanting to achieve and being afraid of failing, of wanting to belong and fearing rejection.

When teens believe they wonât measure up or when they expect rejection, they withdraw.

No degree of reassurance or encouragement seems to be enough, because you canât give your teen what sheâs looking for: a guarantee that everything will turn out perfectly.

How To Help Your Child In An Anxious Moment

When your child is in the middle of a very anxious moment, they may feel frightened, agitated or worried about having a panic attack. The important thing to do in the moment is to help them calm down and feel safe.

These strategies can help:

Remember that everyone is different, and that over time you and your child can work together to find the things that work best for them in these moments.

Also Check: Why Do I Have Relationship Anxiety

Why Your Kids Misbehave And What To Do About It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. Youve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

How Meditation Helped My Daughter Manage Her Anxiety How Do I Know If My Child Has Anxiety?

But, the change in her seemed to go deeper than just less worry and anxiety. She carried her shoulders a little higher and she seemed calmer somehow. She seemed more willing to accept the daily stresses of online learning and she was finding ways to connect with her friends via technology.

I asked her one morning what had caused such a profound change and I was floored by her nonchalance.

I found an app that helps, she said, with a shrug.

The app that helps turned out to be a meditation app shed found when researching ways to feel calmer during anxious moments.

Not only had she downloaded the app to her phone but shed also been heading up to bed a little earlier to quietly do guided meditation before falling asleep. And she did it with little fanfare, tooshe had simply found a way to solve what was a big challenge in her life.

Meditation just seems to help, she confided. My daughter told me that her meditative practice before bed helped during the day when she felt her fears creeping in. I just stop and take a look at my surroundings and ground myself. Even if it means just touching the chair Im in and reminding myself that Im in control.

As she described how much meditation has helped her find her way, my eyes filled with tears. Only this time, they were tears of relief.

I have never been prouder of her.

Read Also: How To Cure Bad Anxiety

Therapies For Anxiety Disorder

Cognitive behavioral therapy is often described as the gold standard therapy for anxiety disorders, CBT is a short-term therapy whose core principle is that what we think, how we feel, and how we behave are all closely connected and together strongly influence well-being. During therapy sessions, children gradually grasp that what they think and do affects how they feel. They also learn how to challenge and question the validity of negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. CBT helps kids understand that avoiding their fear makes the fear stronger while facing the fear will make the child stronger. The therapist helps the child practice techniques to help them face their worries and tolerate the associated anxiety and builds up their confidence through praise and through their accomplishments.

Through exposure to anxiety-producing situations, the child will be better able to tolerate anxiety-provoking situations and the associated worries. For CBT to be successful, the child must be willing to actively and consistently participate in the therapy and do the required exercises outside of sessions. For some children, especially young children, that can be challenging so its really important that the child and the therapist have a strong relationship.

If You’re Parenting An Anxious Child I’m Sure You’ve Already Been Subjected To The Advice That Is Rarely Asked For Rarely Helpful And Often Critical And Leaves You Feeling Worse

Dawn Friedman MSEd

This is a version of a question I get in so many different forms. Sometimes its about a specific age, like how do I help my four year old? Or how do I help my 14 year old?

Sometimes its about a specific symptom like how do I help my child who gets anxious stomach aches? And sometimes its about a specific diagnosis like how do I help my teen who has social anxiety?

Those all might make future posts, but for this one were going to stick with the bare bones question, which is how can I help my anxious child.

Because no matter how your child is experiencing the anxiety or how youre experiencing your anxious child there are a couple things that you can do across the board.

The first thing you can do is something youre already doing by reading here and thats to get educated about anxiety.

The more you learn about anxiety, the better you can understand your childs experience and your own experience, too. So listen, youre amazing. Thank you for doing that. Getting educated about anxiety will help you make better decisions for your child and better decisions for yourself. Thats great.

Now the other thing you can do is to start putting together your village. You know that it takes a village to raise a child motto? Yes, absolutely and every parent needs a village. But the parent of a child who has special needs like a child who has anxiety well, we need a special village.

Thats going to be a lot more useful than browsing Psychology Today listings.

Recommended Reading: Who Can You Talk To About Anxiety

Bring Your Childs Worry To Life

As you probably know, ignoring anxiety doesnt help. But bringing worry to life and talking about it like a real person can. Create a worry character for your child. In GoZen we created Widdle the Worrier. Widdle personifies anxiety. Widdle lives in the old brain that is responsible for protecting us when were in danger. Of course, sometimes Widdle gets a little out of control and when that happens, we have to talk some sense into Widdle. You can use this same idea with a stuffed animal or even role-playing at home.

Personifying worry or creating a character has multiple benefits. It can help demystify this scary physical response children experience when they worry. It can reactivate the logical brain, and its a tool your children can use on their own at any time.

Reading The Signs: What Anxiety Looks Like In Children

How Do I Help My 7-Year-Old Daughter With Her Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders reveal themselves in physical and psychological ways. How an anxiety disorder manifests depends on the age of the child and the type of anxiety disorder. Because anxiety can manifest through physical symptoms, its important to consult a pediatrician to make sure the behaviors and symptoms are anxiety-related and not due to an underlying medical condition.

Some general symptoms:

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How Common Is Anxiety In Children

Anxiety and anxiety disorders are considered the most common mental health problem in childhood. Separation anxietyis common in younger children, whereas older children and teenagers tend to worry moreabout school or havesocial anxiety. While OCD can occur at any age, in children it usually appears between the ages of 6 and 12.

When Should I Seek Professional Help For My Anxious Child

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and our experts, you should consult a psychologist or psychiatrist with experience treating children with an anxiety disorder when the childs behavior or anxiety:

  • Disrupts the household and interferes with family activities and life
  • When the child gets upset multiple times a day or week
  • When the frequency and intensity of the fears escalate .
  • When the anxiety leads to significant avoidance behavior. The child continually and consistently makes excuses to avoid school or other situations that may provoke anxiety.
  • When the disorder is making it difficult for the child to interact with, make or keep friends.
  • When sleep habits are disrupted
  • When you begin to see compulsive behaviors and rituals such as repeated hand washing, counting, checking things and when the child refuses or is unable to leave the house without performing these rituals.
  • When your child shows a pattern of physical symptoms that are disruptive and detrimental to the child
  • When your child experiences panic attacks characterized by heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, hyperventilation.

Read Also: Can Anxiety Cause Sharp Chest Pain

How To Help Your Child Having An Anxiety Attack

The good news is there are things we can do to help our children with anxiety attacks. Here are are few things you could implement.

It was the day after spring break. My daughter was 12 and had been experiencing increasing abdominal pain for six months. No one could tell us what it was. But it was preventing her from making it through an entire day of school let alone through swim practice. So when I got the call from school, I assumed it was just another day. But it wasnt. This was the beginning of our struggles with anxiety attacks. From that point forward, I started to learn how to help someone having an anxiety attack.

My girl was sick. Really sick. The next six months were a blur of IVs and painful blood draws, intensive care units, doctors, and hospitals, and bizarre tests that left my entire family reeling and my girl and I with medical PTSD.

The smell of isopropyl alcohol makes my heart race. And the thought of an IV makes me clench my teeth and battle a fullon anxiety attack. And thats just me. Ever since her days in the hospital, anxiety attacks have come for my daughter too. Its almost worse when they come for her instead of me.

If you can relate, the good news is there are things we can do to help our children with anxiety attacks. Here are just a few Ive picked up in the last few years.

Yoga And Breathing Exercises

9 tips on how to help your child with school anxiety &  school refusal ...

What it is: Gentle, slow body movements, and breathing with attention and concentration.

Why it works: When anxiety increases, changes occur in the body, including shallow breathing, says Molly Harris, a board-certified occupational and yoga therapist who works with kids. This can cause anxiety to increase, prolonging feelings of stress.

In yoga, kids learn a belly breath, which expands the diaphragm and fills the lungs. This activates a restful state via the parasympathetic nervous system. Heart rate slows, blood pressure lowers, and children feel a greater sense of calm.

Where to start: Practicing yoga together is a great introduction, and the younger your child is when you start, the better. Pick fun, easy poses like bridge pose or the aptly named childs pose. Concentrate on holding poses and breathing deeply.

Don’t Miss: What An Anxiety Attack Feels Like

Before You Try To Reason With A Panicked Child Help The Child Relax

“You’re not going to be able to move forward until you get them to calm down,” says Sesame’s Truglio. “Because if you can’t calm them down, you can’t even reach them. They’re not listening to your words because they can’t. Their body is taking over, so talking and shouting and saying, ‘You’re going to do this!’ is not very helpful.”

How do you break through this kind of panic? We recommend the Swiss Army knife in the mental health toolkit: deep belly breathing. Take a look:


Now that you’ve managed to calm down your child, it’s time to …

Anxiety In Children: When To Worry About Your Child’s Worries

All kids have fears, whether theyre scared of a dark bedroom, a new school year, or the neighbors dog. Most will simply complain about these worries and move on. But about 7 percent of children aged 3-17 have an anxiety disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and these seemingly trivial things can be debilitating for them.

Indeed, for children with anxiety, worries generally get more intense over time instead of naturally fading away. “No matter how much you answer an anxious child’s questions or tell her things are fine, she can’t absorb your reassurances,” explains Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., author of Freeing Your Child From Anxiety. In severe cases, kids with anxiety may stop eating, sleeping, or going to school. At the very least, their instability can set them apart from their peersoften at an age when fitting in is crucial.

If you think your child has anxiety, read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for the common disorder.

Also Check: How To Find Out If You Have Anxiety

What Happens If I Dont Get Treatment For My Child With An Anxiety Disorder

Getting your child help for an anxiety disorder can improve their development and self-esteem. But untreated anxiety disorders can harm:

  • Family relationships.
  • School performance.
  • Social functioning.

Your child may also end up with more serious mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, there are several treatments for anxiety disorders. The right treatment can help your child manage their symptoms and feel their best.

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