The four steps that can help your child with anxiety:
Over 40 Million Adults in America, as well as 1 in 8 children suffer from various forms of Anxiety. Adults use terms such as worry, stress, feeling helpless, etc., to label their feelings of anxiety. Yet children and at times teenagers lack the ability to understand or communicate their feelings of anxiety to their caregivers. Some signs of childhood anxiety are lack of social involvement, separation issues from caregivers, dislike for school or unwilling to go to school, complaining of physical symptoms such as tummy aches or headaches and at times aggression or defiant behaviors.
As parents and caregivers we would do almost anything to help our children through tough times but anxiety can be difficult to understand and deal with, causing frustration and anger from the adult towards the child. Don’t despair there are many trained professionals that can help with your child’s needs in the area if needed. I would like to share one technique I have taught the parents have worked with to help in this area.
Freeze- pause and take some deep breathes with your child when you see the onset of anxiety or a stressful situation that might cause your child to become worried. Take a moment to verbally describe the stressful situation in your view and try to work through with your child his view.
Empathize- after you have verbally described what the worry is, you move into empathizing that the situation can be scary or stressful to your child. You want your child to know that you understand that this upsets him and you can see why.
Evaluate- once your child is calm you can now offer solutions or choices for your child
Let Go- let go of your worries and feelings that are brought out by watching your child go through this. Show a strong support and willingness to help your child gain the tools he needs to work through this problem.
– I hope you find this tool helpful and can add it to the parent tool box you have been collecting since your little one arrived.
Fiona Hall LPC
Innovative Counseling LLC