Parenting Pod shared an article by Ana (Jovanovic) Sokolovic, a licensed psychotherapist who works with adults, children, and adolescents. In it, she states that it is perfectly normal for children to experience anxiety as they grow, learn, and change environments. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to teach them useful strategies for understanding and tending to this emotion.
This article will give you activities and tools to help your child cope with anxiety. Test them and see which ones help your child.
Do not be surprised if some of them feel good for you too!
Situations, where anxiety is a normal response, include:
- The unknown
- A lack of predictability and control
- Perceived lack of psychical or emotional safety.
Depending on the age and developmental stage of a child, anxiety can show up in different ways. Some of them include:
- Agitation, irritability, restlessness
- Stomachaches or headaches (especially prior to anxiety-inducing activities)
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Problems sleeping through the night
- Strong emotional reactions to separation
- Meltdowns and temper tantrums (especially when things change abruptly or when their expectations fail)
- Inattention, difficulty staying focused
- Lack of initiative to connect with others, which can wrongly be interpreted as shyness
- Physical tension
- They are easy to startle
If ignored or suppressed, anxiety can cause severe challenges in children’s ability to learn and connect with others. Introducing tools and activities can help manage their response to anxiety and improve daily functioning.
Pphoto by Caleb Woods