Children Who are Anxious: How to help
Parents can often do a great deal to help children learn to manage anxiety. Here are several different ways to make things easier for your child:
- Be patient and give your child lots of time to overcome her initial fear of something new.
- Use pretend play and stories to help prepare your child for new situations that he may have trouble adapting to or is afraid of.
- Praise your child when she is successful at overcoming anxiety. Try to make your child feel like a conquering hero.
- Keep reminding your child of the things that he is no longer afraid of. This will help him see that it is possible to overcome other fears too.
- Try to negotiate with your child about "trial periods" with new activities, so that she can discover more about the world.
It's not helpful to push an anxious child too hard or too soon. Slow and steady is best. But, don't give up and allow your child to avoid all anxious situations.
If you find that your child's anxieties are really affecting how your child sleeps, eats and plays, or they really start to worry or frustrate you, consult your child's doctor.