Six ways you can help your child with feelings of anxiety

All children will feel some degree of anxiety at some stage as it’s a natural reaction our bodies have to a stressful event. You might have experienced it when starting a new job, before a test or exam, or perhaps giving a speech yourself. When we do something that puts us outside our comfort zone that challenges us, we can feel anxious.

But for some children, anxious feelings don’t go away. They may see situations as much worse than they really are, or the anxiety doesn’t ease when the situation causing it stops. For these children their anxiety can affect their ability to concentrate, sleep and carry out ordinary tasks and this may be caused by anxiety disorders.

If you feel that you child is struggling with anxiety it is best to discuss the symptoms with your family GP to develop a plan to treat and manage your child’s individual situation.

There are also some things you can do each day in addition to the this that may help your child.

Your top tips

  • Anxious children like routines. Try to keep a calm structure and regular routine in your child’s daily life. A good night’s sleep is also really important.
  • Be involved in their life. Showing a real interest in their daily life helps them to feel secure and also makes it easier for you to spot when they need more support.
  • Be there to listen. Regularly check in to see how they are going, so they get used to talking about their feelings and know you are there to listen.
  • Support them through difficulties. Try to calmly talk them through their emotions to help them understand what they’re feeling and why.
  • Talk through their fears. Help them to work through the worry. What is the worry? What can we do to make it less of a worry? How can I support you?
  • Encourage their interests. Being creative or active, being a part of a team and learning new things your child to learn to manage their emotions and help them connect with others which are both important for mental health.

If you are  struggling, call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

If children are struggling, they can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

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