When your child suffers from anxiety, as a parent all you want to do is fix it for them. However, there may be some things that you are doing (or not doing) that aren’t helping at all. Recognizing and understanding your child’s anxiety is the first step in helping them cope with it. Here are a few things you should and should not be doing.
1. Don’t avoid things just because they make your child anxious. Remember that the goal is not to avoid stress or anxiety, but rather to teach your child good coping mechanisms when they are going through their anxiety.
2. Be positive but express realistic expectations. You can’t promise your child that their fears are not legitimate. Afterall, they really MIGHT fail that test or fall off of their bike. However, what you CAN do is express your confidence that they are capable and that no matter what happens they will be able to handle it and you will still love them.
3. Respect their feelings, but do not empower them. For example, if your child is anxious about going to the doctor you need to acknowledge that their fear is real, but don’t amplify their fears. Your responsibility is to:
-Help Your Child Come To Terms About WHAT Their Anxiety Is Over Exactly
-Encourage And Reassure Them
The whole process should look like this: “I know you are scared, and that is okay. I’m here and I’m going to help you get through this because you are strong and capable.”
Coping mechanisms are different for every child and its important to understand that each child will need something different. An experienced anxiety counselor, like Insight Child & Family Counseling, can help your child figure out what works best for THEM. To find out more about our practice, visit us online at www.LDSCounselorDFW.com. Or give us a call today at 972-426-9500 to setup your first appointment.