Anxiety is common in adults, but in children and adolescents it can also develop, and at these ages we parents are their greatest support.
If your child is not able to detach himself from you or have a tantrum attack when you leave, he is excessively introverted and tries to avoid any social situation, if he is constantly afraid, or only in certain specific situations, he complains of a constant stomach ache Either headlong or experiencing panic attacks, the answer is yes. Your child is going through episodes of anxiety .
But don’t worry , anxiety is very common in both children and adults. To be exact, around 20% of children and adolescents will go through episodes of anxiety throughout this stage. But sometimes it can become more stable and disrupt our normal functioning, and sometimes not. It depends, above all, on how it is dealt with.
Whether we identify this situation in our sons or daughters, or if it goes unnoticed because you try to hide it, you must receive help. Sadly, if we do not deal with the anxiety problem , it can either make our son or daughter more fearful of the world, or lead to worse problems such as depression, which, of course, will make them lose opportunities in your private life, your career or your relationships, and it will undoubtedly decrease your quality of life.
THE GOOD NEWS: ANXIETY CAN BE TREATED WITH GOOD RESULTS!
Parents play an essential role when it comes to helping their children cope and deal with anxiety. When coping skills and general behavior are rewarded and rewarded when practiced at home, children can learn how to face their fears, can learn to take reasonable risks, and ultimately gain self-confidence.
To begin to know how to deal with your anxious child, we have to bear in mind that anxiety is a disorder that can lead to panic attacks and that it is not a child’s whim. It is a situation that causes physical symptoms in your child’s body that you cannot avoid.
WHEN HE HAS AN ANXIETY ATTACK, DO NOT TRY TO CALM HIM WITH WORDS
In these situations, your son or daughter is afraid and you, however, know that there is nothing to fear, so you say “Trust me, there is nothing to worry about.” And fixed right?
We all want it to be that simple, but your words fall on deaf ears and are useless. Well, it’s not really the ears that are the problem. Your child listens to you, and there is nothing else in the world they want to do more than trust you and move forward without fear, but they cannot interpret the situation as safe. During periods of anxiety there is a rapid release of chemicals and changes in mental state very often to ensure survival. One of those responsible for this is the prefrontal cortex , the most logical part of the brain, which remains on stand-by while the most emotional areas are over-activated.
But this happens to all of us when we are in a situation of uncertainty, in addition this fear is generated by how the child interprets the situation or the stimulus that causes that fear. So it is not something so automatic, you simply have to learn again to feel safe in the face of these stimuli (for example, the fact that you stay home alone, or if you have to go to school), and that is achieved little by little. .
In other words, it is very difficult for your child to clearly press and understand what you say, use logic or even perform simple tasks. So what can you do instead of wanting to rationalize what happens to him?
Stay still, put your hands on his shoulders, and take a few deep breaths with your child. Deep breathing can help reverse the response of the nervous system.
Empathize with him or her, you know that anxiety is very scary, your child wants to know that you are aware of it, make it clear. Evaluate the situation and when your child calms down try to think of possible solutions . Don’t beat yourself up, it’s not your fault. You are an excellent parent trying to give your child the tools to control their fears.
2. Make him see that worries are okay sometimes
Remember, anxiety is very hard, but your child does not have to feel bad about going through it, so let him know that all those fears and worries that he has, deep down, have a purpose. Make him see what it is for, explain that our ancestors went hunting and gathering in a very hostile environment and that therefore fear saved them from being attacked by some wild animal and therefore saved their lives. It is true that today we do not need that protective barrier, but we still have that function that helps us escape from dangerous situations, and causes us concern or concern. The fear.
Fear is a protection mechanism that helps us survive danger, teach him that everyone is afraid of an attack from time to time and that he has to accept that feeling as something natural that he has to overcome.
3. Let your child express his concerns
You already know that ignoring anxiety doesn’t help. But bringing up their fears and embodying them can help the child realize that fear is actually friendlier than he thinks and can handle it. Make a character that exemplifies anxiety and let your child interact with him when he thinks he can’t handle his fears by himself, as a guardian. This tactic of personifying fear can enhance the more logical functions of the brain.
Another good recommendation is that you teach him to be a good detective and to identify in daily life what are the real factors that scare him . On many occasions you will not be able to find them and you will discover that your fears are unfounded, which will also help you apply logic and reasoning to those situations.
If you see that the problem continues, the best professional who can help you is a psychologist . This will set the guidelines to overcome those fears and anxiety attacks, and will also propose relaxation techniques to learn to control physical symptoms.
Dr. Tabriella Perivolaris, Sara's mother and fan of fashion, beauty, motherhood, among others, about the female universe. Since 2018 she has been working as a copywriter, always bringing to her articles a little of her experience and experience as a mother and woman.