Helping Your Child to Cope with Situational Anxiety
Situational anxiety is a common response to a traumatic occurrence in one’s life. It’s usually abrupt or upsetting, and it causes immediate hardship or undue anxiety about how it might impact our lives as well as being linked to a sense of powerlessness.
It has the potential to disrupt our children’s busy schedules, affecting their bedtime, exercise, education, and personal interactions.
Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, mudslides, forest fires, global health issues, violent crimes, cyberbullying, or shocking death or loss are some scenarios of events that send tremors through our children’s spines.
Anxiety can hit children of all ages unexpectedly. When some children get into a new setting, they get a feeling of possible harm, or if a child is afraid of being away from their parents, he or she will typically exhibit anxiety symptoms.
Medical appointments, school drop-offs, and other disruptions to your child’s normal schedule can all cause anxiety. In certain situations, despite your best attempts to prepare your child for a new scenario, they may still encounter mild to moderate or even severe anxiety.
And changes in activity level, sweaty hands, weak legs, stomach pain, headache, or behavioral indicators like sobbing and nail-biting are all common markers of anxiety in children.
In all of these, the good news is that there are tactics you can use to assist your child get over their fear and avert recurrent bouts, no matter what situation has provoked it.
Help Your Kids Understand Their Anatomical Changes
Helping your child identify developments in their body and behavior patterns is the first step in resolving anxiety. Spell out the behaviors you’ve noticed to your child as politely as possible, and ask if they’ve noticed them as well.
If your youngster starts chewing their nails when they’re worried, call their attention to the habit, and by doing so, you are assisting them in paying attention to how their body responds to stress by rationally discussing the behavior.
Even if you are annoyed by their acts, don’t punish them because this might lead to feelings of shame, which can perpetuate anxiety-related behaviors.
Teach Them What Anxiety Means
Furthermore, teach your child that anxiousness is natural and that people experience varying behavioral patterns or mood swings when they are anxious about something. Converse with your child in words that he or she can comprehend, about how unpleasant circumstances can produce worry and anxiety, and how these feelings can affect our minds and bodies.
Illustrate to them that everyone experiences stress and anxiety at times, including yourself, and that it works differently for everyone. Also, give instances of how you feel when you are anxious and help him or her understand that feeling nervous is simply our body’s way of letting us know something is wrong.
Teach Your Kids Coping Techniques
Assist your youngster in relaxing after you’ve helped him or her identify the sources of the anxiousness and moderate it. Then you have a chat with your child about what is making them worried about a scenario and, if feasible, try to calm them down with words.
For instance, your kid could become upset in a physician’s reception area because they are afraid of getting a shot, having the physician touch them with a chilly stethoscope, or being told their weight, therefore, communicating with your child about their concerns will not only explain what the issue is, but it will also allow you to deliver precise data about what they can expect.
If your child’s anxiety characteristic signs persist, try to reduce the stress load to help them feel relieved. Breathing techniques, relaxation therapy, and a parent’s comforting physical touch are some of the most helpful methods for youngsters.
Leave The Location That Triggered The Crisis
It may be essential, as the last choice, to leave the uncomfortable scenario and try a different approach or try again another day altogether. So when your child is experiencing a crying feat or is showing indications of a panic disorder, get them to a safe area as quickly as you can.
Note that you do not compel your child to do something that scares them needlessly. A child who is terrified of heights should not be made to gaze over the edge of a high platform. Children who are subjected to such coercion are more prone to acquire phobias and hostility.
Alternatively, motivate your youngster to take little measures to gradually conquer their situational anxiety.
If your child’s anxiety gets so severe that they are unable to engage in normal and required activities, or if it has grown so persistent that it is preventing them from enjoying a good social life, seek help from their pediatrician.
Similarly, your child’s lack of involvement in school activities, failure to maintain appropriate sleeping patterns, abnormal changes in appetite, use of recreational drugs as a coping technique, or abnormalities in cognitive health is all signs that you should seek medical assistance.
In conclusion, as a parent, you have the greatest impact on your child’s capacity to cope with anxiety and strengthen your child’s perseverance for future stressful circumstances by giving him or her the tools to describe this sensation, normalizing it, and teaching relaxation practices.