Anxiety disorders affect adults and children alike. In children, it can be a little more difficult to see and watch your child suffer, not exactly knowing what to do. A child psychologist will help your child learn to deal with their anxiety and the psychologist can also teach you ways to help your child cope at home as well. See below for some helpful things you can say to your child to help with their anxiety.
- "You Are Safe". Telling your child that they are safe and that you are there can help when your child is worried and feeling out of control. These words can be comforting to your child and help calm your child.
- "Tell Me About It" Or "How Big Is Your Worry?". Either of these can help your child convey their feelings to you. Be sure to allow your child to take their time in explaining their worry and feelings to you.
- "Can You Draw It?". This can be helpful, especially if your child doesn't want to talk about his feelings or cannot express himself. Allowing your child to draw can get his feelings out so you can better understand and to make him feel better.
- "It's Scary And...". Acknowledge when something is scary, such as going to a new school. Follow up the phrase with something such as "I'm here", or "you can conquer this fear like you've done before". Acknowledging the fear can help your child feel that you understand their fears, but following it up with something positive can help to ease them.
Allowing your child to choose their own calming strategy can be helpful as well. Give them a choice of what strategies can be used and what they feel more comfortable using to help at that given time. Have your child tell you what you can do to help, rather than you assuming what they need. It's difficult to watch your child worry, panic or become anxious, but sometimes you have to let your child tell you what they need, rather than rushing in to solve the problem for them.
Take the time to really listen to your child when they are conveying their feelings to you. Put the phone down, look away from the computer screen and find a quiet place for your child to talk to you.
Make an appointment with a child psychologist, such as at NeuroHealth Arlington Heights, to help your child cope with their anxiety.