What Does Anxiety Look Like in Our Children?

Understanding and identifying anxiety in children can bring challenges because it can appear in many different ways. Finding resources and utilizing strategies to help our children cope with these feelings is important to their growth. 

Ways Your Child May be Experiencing Anxiety:

  • Having a belly ache before leaving the house.
  • Throwing a tantrum when being asked to do something that is new or seen as uncomfortable.
  • Expressing “what if this.. what if that..”
  • Having trouble concentrating. 
  • Feeling anger
  • Avoidance behavior 
  • Difficulty sleeping 

Conquering anxiety can be a challenge, but there are many actions and exercises to implement in our children’s daily lives to help maintain it. While there are multiple resources on our Counselor’s Corner, it can be helpful to start by creating a plan with your child so they feel more comfortable moving forward. Show and teach them that they are not alone and encourage them to talk about their feelings. Help them identify the worry, frustration, sadness, and anger.

Helpful Tips for Managing Anxiety in Children: 

  • Model self-compassion
  • Inspire journaling and/or drawing
  • Encourage exercise and movement
  • Laugh together
  • Empathize with them
  • Find activities that bring joy 
  • Practice meditation
  • Blow bubbles to help learn breathing techniques
  • Create a calm down spot

 

Recommended Reading: 

Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child's Fears, Worries, and Phobias
by Tamar Chansky, Ph.D.
Providing effective tools to help children understand and overcome their anxiety.