Anxiety and worry are the enemies of enjoyment. A child is affected by anxiety as much as is an adult. Anxiety can ruin a child’s enjoyment of life. A child is affected by anxiety as much as is an adult. Anxiety can ruin a child’s enjoyment of life. An anxious child worries a great deal and needs lots of reassurance.
Anxious boy with Teddy. Pic original source unknown.
Everybody becomes anxious now and then. It is normal. At some times and in some situations anxiety is useful. Excessive anxiety and worry, however, can disrupt a child’s school attendance. It can hinder a child joining activities with others in sports or after school. Anxiety can restrain the child from visiting and playing with friends. Anxiety might inhibit the child doing homework. An anxious child might not want to sleep in its own bed. They might have sleeplessness, or nightmares. An anxious child might be fearful of the dark, or worry about ghosts and other supernatural beings. Some older children get overly worried about their health, or that something bad will happen to them or their loved ones, or even about what is happening in the world in general.
Anxiety can cause physical difficulties such as diarrhoea, stomach and headaches, irritability, difficulty to concentrate and tiredness.
Most children up to three years show some signs of separation anxiety but, if an older child has difficulties separating from parents, carers, or leaving their home to go to school, it becomes a problem. Your child might become excessively worried if he or she needs to speak in the class, or to a peer. He or she might worry when they need to do a test. He or she might want to do everything perfectly and then become their own harshest critic. They may repeatedly destroy their own work. A child can become selectively mute. He or she or he can be a real chatterbox at home but does not speak when expected to speak: such as at school.
Anxiety and worry are the enemies of enjoyment.
Here is how you can help an anxious or worrying child:
Do not belittle, laugh at, criticise or dismiss your child’s worries. They are very real to the child. Encourage the child to express those worries by talking, drawing or playing.
Further, encourage your child, gently, to face situations. Give ample praise when he or she is brave enough to do so and encourage the child to tolerate worrying feelings.
Do not avoid situations that cause the child to worry. Your child needs to try to get used to situations that cause worry. Only assist when you feel that your child is getting overly anxious.
Be a positive role model. Show the child how you solve anxious situations. Be calm, and stay positive.
Some children will grow out of their anxiety; others will have difficulties until they get professional help. If you are concerned that your child suffers excessively from anxiety and worry, she or he would benefit from professional help.
Contact Maarit Rivers for an initial free consultation for your child call me NOW on 0417 462 115