Managing Kids with Anxiety

I read a news letter this week that mentioned a workshop for parents on how to manage situations that creates anxiety on their kids. 

It got me to thinking….the way anxiety affects an adults health, has the same impact on a child as well.

When you think about a child, I could only imagine what is going on in their minds as small as they are living in this big world and not knowing how to deal with everything that surrounds them. Especially from the age 0-6, with everything being so new to them, they don’t know how to respond or cope to certain situations as an adult would. That’s why they cling and depend on us in everything they do. I could see how that could and creates a lot of anxiety. 

One huge example that I know not only affects children but also parents, is a child’s first day at school. For most kids they do wonderful but for others who have never attended daycare or a school setting, that builds a lot of anxiety and stress on them being surrounded by people they don’t know and having to leave them there for a full day! 

I learned how to manage that with my children by making sure to take them places (park/playgrounds, birthday parties, church) that would allow them to get used to an environment where they would not only be surrounded by kids but interact. It doesn’t solve the possibility of anxiety fully but it surely does make a huge difference and helps in transitioning to similar situations such as school. 

My daughter she seemed a little apprehensive the first couple days attending her new school but was just fine. My son on the other hand, it’s taken him a little longer and I could definitely see his emotional shift change when dropping him off in his class, how he reacts. He gets upset and scared. I could understand why, being that he has absolutely no idea who his teacher is or the kids he is surrounded by. 

However I’m thankful that all the time Leading up to the kids starting back to school, that they learned how to interact with other kids. Within a hour or two of dropping them off, I would receive pictures from the teachers of my smiling babies having fun.

Another example I became aware of involved My daughter. I think she creates anxiety build up When she hears loud noises, or I ask her to turn on a light in a dark room. She freaks out. If I am upstairs and she’s downstairs and I yell out her name to come up, she immediately freaks out and says mommy you scared me, crying hysterically. I have to calm her down to tell her it’s OK. 

I believe not knowing how to manage that could lead to potential issues that, yes, could affect health. 

How I have learned to manage this for my baby is being more aware. Instead of yelling her name, I’ll go to her. If I need her to turn on a light and it’s dark, I’ll be close. Teaching her slowly but surely how to respond to certain situations that causes anxiety, so that she feels more secure and independent in those situations as she gets older. 

It actually wasn’t something that I made myself aware of until I read about that workshop, it clicked. It made me more aware and mindful as a parent, how I can help manage any stressful situations that are in my control, with my kids. 

If I continue to yell her name from across the house and she can’t see me but only hears me yelling, that will continue to be an issue. if I continue to tell her to turn on lights in dark rooms and have her do it by herself, that’s going to continue to build anxiety for her possibly to the point where she’s afraid to go to sleep at night or not want to do things independently on her own as she gets older.

Having anxiety Especially with reoccurring situations that aren’t managed or addressed, most definitely can affect health wreaking havoc on the immune system. Therefore, Being consistently sick, tired, and just feeling bothered all of the time it’s not a great combination at all!

It’s all a process but important a process as our kids continue to grow. If there are ways, we as parents, can help our kids in different aspects (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual) in their development, we as parents have done our job. 

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