Helping Your Child CopeWith General Worry
- Do not yell at, punish, tease, or demean your child because of her anxiety or allow family members, friends, or others to do so.
- Learn how to relax, yourself. If you are anxious around your child, about either her condition or anything else, it will feed her anxiety. Remember, your child not only learns how to cope from watching you but also takes cues from you about your worries.
- Teach your child how to relax. Even young children can be taught how to breathe properly and use other relaxation techniques that will either ease or stop the fight-or-flight response from revving up.
- Educate yourself. When you understand the nature of your child’s anxiety, it will help you cope with her anxious symptoms and behaviors and communicate effectively with the school and health professionals.
- Problem solve with your child. Encouraging your child to engage in the process of overcoming chronic worry will increase her confidence and coping skills. For example, plan with her how to make mornings less stressful.
- Communicate and listen. Children with anxiety know they are struggling, and often feel “different” and isolated from family and peers. Empathize with her feelings and allow her to talk without jumping in and trying to fix things.
- Seek professional help through your pediatrician or a mental health professional.