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Tips on how to handle a Child Struggling with Anxiety

Recent research on mental health in children show that in every five children, at least one child will experience some type of anxiety by the time they get to the adolescence stage. Anxiety in children may present itself in various ways such as being very afraid when away from parents, having extreme fear about a specific thing or situation such insects, dogs or going to the doctor, being afraid of school or other social gatherings as well as being worried about the future and bad things happening. In as much as the feeling of anxiety in some kids does not last, for others it may last for quite a while especially if proper help is not provided to the child. To help your child overcome anxiety, you may need to work towards removing the things that trigger it and help your child learn how to tolerate their anxiety and lead a normal life even when anxious. Highlighted below are a few pointers you should look at as a parent or caregiver to help your child escape the cycle of anxiety.

One step to helping your child overcome anxiety is to help the child relax first before trying to reason with him or her. To make your child relax first, you should encourage him or her to do some breathing exercises. By teaching your child how to deep-breathe, you will be able to help them self-soothe in case they find themselves in stressful situations.

The other tip to helping your child escape the cycle of anxiety is through positive affirmation. To help your child develop positive thoughts, you should make a habit of celebrating his or her strengths through daily affirmation practices. Expression of positive but realistic expectations of your child is also an effective step towards ensuring that they overcome anxiety. Instead of telling your child that his or her fears are unrealistic and that you know that they will not fail a test or that they will have fun doing something they are afraid of, you should express confidence that he or she is going to be fine and that he or she will be able to manage it. Your child’s confidence levels will increase and anxiety levels drop once you express the positive but realistic expectation of him or her as the child will not have to worry about being asked to do things that they feel they cannot handle.

The other effective way of helping your child overcome anxiety is to encourage them to face their fears and tolerate their anxiety. Appreciating your child for all the effort he or she has put in tolerating anxiety will encourage your child to engage in life and let the anxiety levels drop naturally.

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