Anxious kids need help from the adults in their life

IS your child behaving badly at home or school?

Is he/she waking up through the night?

Have you noticed new unusual habits like nail biting or bed wetting?

Has he/she become withdrawn or melancholy for no apparent reason?

The above symptoms point to anxiety, more commonly known as stress or worry.

Children, like adults, may develop anxiety for many reasons.

It may be a change in their environment or it could be a learned trait copied from a nervous parent.

Either way a child cannot be productive when they live with fear, and fear is the basis of anxiety.

A child may not be able to understand, or explain what it is that they are feeling.

Adults can generally pin point the reason for their anxiety but often knowing the reason is not enough to rid them self of the unpleasant feeling.

When an adult cannot rationalise a difficult issue enough to overcome their worry, how then can a child?

The fear behind anxiety is extremely debilitating and is based on a central underlying self-belief that one is inadequate; perhaps a feeling of helplessness or hopelessness around the worrying issue because of an inability to solve the problem, or deal with it effectively.

This type of fear, when left untreated, can manifest into a deep-seated distress.

The more one thinks about a problem but cannot solve it, the more one stresses, and so on.

The situation can often be made worse by imagining that every aspect of one's life is so problematic that it cannot be fixed.

This is how life can appear to someone whose anxiety has become an illness.

As an adult we might know intrinsically that we feel better when we exercise, or talk to someone, or diarise the problem, or meditate or play a musical instrument.

If you are the parent of a child showing symptoms of anxiety it is imperative that you find a way to help your child.

If you cannot achieve this alone, and the child's uncharacteristic behaviour continues, you owe it to them to seek professional help.

The longer you leave it the tougher it will be for your child to cope.


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Topics:  anxiety mental health parenting

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