A child can be in an emotional state called anxiety which is a normal behavior, but can be extreme in certain cases. It is a normal behavior to be afraid or fear about something in certain situations. The feeling of being extremely terrified about something, however, can become a difficult situation for a child and parents need to learn how to help their children overcome anxiety and teach them the proper way of coping.
When anxiety is a normal response
The feeling of anxiety can help the person identify and anticipate dangers that helps in determining the proper ways of dealing with the situation. Child anxiety usually manifests as the feeling of being concerned, worries, tense, nervous and cautious. Even babies manifest the feeling of anxiety by crying when they are hungry or show a defiant behavior such as tantrums to express how they feel. There are different causes why anxiety occurs in children. Among the common sources of anxiety include the following:
- Sudden changes in the environment
- Transitions occurring in the family circumstances
- Peer pressure
- Fear of social acceptance
- Struggles to belong in a group
- Academic pressures and difficulties
- Community violence
- Traumatic experiences
When anxiety becomes a problem
The child's ability to cope with a stressful situation will define whether anxiety becomes an issue or not. A child who has the inability to cope with anxiety often manifest the following symptoms:
- Negative thinking
- Self criticism
- Defiant behavior
- Opposing behavior
- Headaches and fatigues
- Constant worrying
- Sleeping difficulties
- Excessive separation anxiety
- Withdrawal syndrome
- Avoidance behavior
- Eating problems
- Poor concentration
Helping the child cope with anxiety
Child anxiety may become out of proportion according to the present situation which calls the attention for proper management to help the child develop a healthy coping ability. Teaching the child some coping skills and providing support can ease their difficulty in dealing with a stressful situation and anxiety.
It is important to respect your child's fears and anxiety in order to help connect with them and help them to get through the process of overcoming their feelings. It is important to recognize their feelings to be able to give them the comfort that help is available. Providing verbal assurance to a child can help ease their discomfort and anxiety levels. Giving a child a soothing and comforting words can put them on a relaxing condition. Cuddling, hugging, holding and singing a lullaby can put the child at ease and can these comforting actuations may be enough to release the tension that the child feels and in assuring the child that he is safe.
Encouraging your child to be brave is another way to help them cope with their fears. Rewarding the child for showing a brave behavior for overcoming their anxiety is a good mechanism to make the child learn their ability to cope with stress. Teaching the child what to do in dealing with a situation will essentially make them understand that they can do something about the situation and that they can be in control of their anxiety.
Teaching the child relaxation techniques is also a proven way of helping them cope with anxiety. Breathing exercises consisting of slow, deep breathing will help them relax. Teach them to imagine good things when they feel frustrated or angry about something for diversion. Teaching the child some problem solving activities will help them learn how to look for their own strategies of coping with stress. The activity will enable them to learn their ability and skills in resolving difficult situations that can relieve their anxiety levels.
Click Here! to learn about the most effective ways of overcoming anxiety in children.