How to help a Child cope with Anxiety

Our Future Generation
Our Future Generation | Source

Introduction

With the state of the world, today, the innocent souls are facing more than they should at their age. They are exposed to crime and violence around. Thus, reminding them to be cautious all the time. The emergency drills done in schools drain their minds and envelope them with caution and fear. All this makes their minds so anxious. Innocence is going down the drain at such an early age.


Competitive world is making parents drill their children into working hard and beyond their capacity. This kind of behavior stresses out the children.

Result: They are anxious children.

Definition

Anxiety is an uneasiness of mind usually caused by fear of danger. It is also a state of apprehension over some matter.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Albert Einstein


“A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.”
Carl Sandburg


“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
Margaret Mead


“Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors.”
Khaled Hosseini


“Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.”
Robert A. Heinlein


“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.”
Lisa Wingate


Overview

There are approximately 40 million American adults (18 years and older) who suffer from some anxiety. 8% of teens aged 13-18 years have an anxiety disorder where the symptoms usually appear at six years of age. Studies suggest that only 18% of teens are getting help for their anxiety disorder.

Anxiety that may require help.

Studies show that there is 90% of children between the ages of 2-14 that have at least one type of fear, which may be related to a specific event or a development in their life.

  • Age 0-2 years toddlers fear loud noises, strangers, and separation from parents, large objects.
  • Age 3-6 years preschoolers fear imaginary figures, the dark, noises, sleeping alone, thunders.
  • Age 7-16 years adolescents fear becomes realistic at that age if not treated earlier.

Time to help, when your child’s anxiety is affecting his functioning or the entire family is moving around the child’s anxiety. It is time to approach a professional for help.

Anxiety Disorders in Children Anxiety disorder is a wide term used for many disorders, and phobias. Each of them has a variety of disorders.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Child demonstrates unwanted and intrusive thoughts. He is obsessed over it and want to perform that ritual and follow the routine compulsion to lessen the anxiety.

Common examples:

  • Obsession: Fear of harm to others. Compulsion: Checking/rechecking objects, situations and information.
  • Obsession: Fear of dirt and germs. Compulsion: Washing and rewashing of hands.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

When the child worries excessively about numerous things. Examples: Health, natural disasters, punctuality. When these kids become hard on themselves and strive for perfection and need constant reassurance from others to calm down.

Physical symptoms would be difficulty sleeping, restlessness, or trouble concentrating.

Panic Disorder

If the child experiences at least two panic or anxiety attacks for no reason. Panic attacks include:

  • The need to escape
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Feeling of danger

Specific Phobias

If the child has an intense irrational fear of something specific. He would try to avoid the situation or objects that scare him or put up with the situation but cry with complaints or throw tantrums or be excessively clingy.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Children suffering from PTSD demonstrates fear and anxiety. Children without a strong social support network are thought to be suffering from PTSD. Such children avoid places, people or activities. However, if treated, these children recover after a short time.

Selective Mutism

Such children refuse to speak. They also avoid eye contact, tend to stand like a statue with no expression. This kind of behavior interferes with school, their friends and other social situations. Reasons for selective mutism could be a severe form of social anxiety disorder.

What can a parent can do to help their child?

Listening is the key.

Hear your child’s feelings out.

Stay calm when your child becomes anxious over any situation.

Praise small accomplishments.

Be flexible and maintain a normal routine.

Do not punish the lack of progress.

Ease down during stressful periods.

Plan for transitions ahead of time.

Additional Help for Adults on how to cope anxiety in Children


The Child Anxiety Network

www.childanxiety.net

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Healthy Children

www.healthychildren.org

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Anxiety Disorders Association of America

www.adaa.org


Professional Help

If the above techniques do not show any improvement in your child’s progress. Talk to your child’s pediatrician. This will help to get an insight into their physical development.

Another alternative is to find a therapist who can work with your child. Therapists usually adopt a Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) where the kid is challenged over their anxious thoughts and behavior and made to understand the situation rather than giving in to anxiety. It also gives them the options to cope with them while empowering them to realize their fears.

Medication

Sometimes when therapies do not work, a little bit of medication can also be a good option to get the extra help to help the child overcome his fears and anxieties.

Research indicates that a combination of CBT and medication worked better for children aged 7-17 than just treatment alone.

Conclusion

Children are the future of this planet. Since we cannot take charge of controlling the crime around us, we can definitely be responsible adults or parents by making sure our children are mentally, emotionally and physically secure.


Listen to your child's needs and make sure he/she has the proper channel to overcome them. Our future is in their hands, and if we neglect their wants, we are putting our planet and our old age in jeopardy.



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Comments 15 comments

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Such a timely hub given some of the sad things that are going on in the world recently -- natural disasters, human threats, etc. Anyone who has a school aged child would be surprised the kinds of drills they now must practice in school. Very nonchalantly, my daughter did a demonstration for me -- do this for a fire drill, this for a tornado drill, this for an earthquake, this if there's a shooter in the school. The new reality. I liked your well-researched hub, including the quotes, and vote it up and awesome!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great suggestions, Ruchira. Bev and I were just discussing this topic regarding some neighborhood kids. Well done!


shampa sadhya profile image

shampa sadhya 3 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

Voted up and interesting!

It is an alarming topic and you have dealt with it in a very sensitive way. It is undoubtedly a very worrisome subject about which every responsible citizen must pay some extra effort to give the children a normal life. Sharing and pinning!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

Ruch, what a very important hub.. helping, coping especially children in stress or anxiety.. very useful and easy to follow voted awesome :)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 3 years ago from North Carolina

This is an excellent hub full of useful information. You presented ideas I had never thought of. I think this is a big part of a parent's job.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is a sad reality, times have changed from tranquility to fear for our children. They no longer feel secure in their environment, school shootings, abductions, sexual abuse has taken the innocent into a realm that was foreigh a few years ago. Your suggestions are spot on Ruchira. Thank you...


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States Author

Thanks FlourishAnyway. Yes, life is becoming unpredictable and alas these kids are exposed to a lot of things.

Thanks Bill. Society is a concern these days for these innocent souls.

Hi Shampa. Good to see you :) Thank you so much for sharing and dropping by.

Thanks Frank. Always a pleasure to see ya!

Thanks Tammy. I was quite overwhelmed reading so much about it that this hub took a long 2 weeks to complete it and publish it...lol

Thanks Ruby. I do pray that they are spared cause innocence when buried takes away the simple pleasures of life.

Thanks Rachna. Good to see you! Yes, life sure is offering a lot of complexities to these young souls.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Good counsel. Thank you for this.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals

I so believe in the importance of listening to a child's needs. Many of us has forgotten "how to make children feel secure" -- too busy is mostly the cause. Very helpful information, Ruchira. Thank you. Best of all :=)-Tonette


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States Author

Thanks Mhatter99 and tonette.

Appreciate you stopping by. Yes, children are important and we ought to pause and listen.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

It's unfortunate that children have to live in such a scary world compared to what it was like for us older folk. You've written what every parent needs to read. Excellent hub.

Voted +++ and sharing.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

It always saddens me to hear of children suffering from adult "problems", and all of the anxiety disorders you have so brilliantly explained started with adults and filtered down to children. Recognizing them and treating them in children may is a bit more difficult so this hub is very helpful!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

This is really an important article you write. Children today do have so much stress and as a teacher I saw more and more children suffering from the types of disorders that you write about here. Thanks for sharing your knowledge in this area and bringing to light the plight of children today.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very interesting read and you spell out the many ways help could be offered to children who need them.

Voted up, Ruchira.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

How to help a Child cope with Anxiety, such an informative title and so helpful to many readers.

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