A child with anxiety can be easily upset, angry and withdrawn, so dealing with a child who suffers from it can be both challenging and mentally exhausting.
Young children are less able to understand why they feel how they do and are more likely to respond with negative behaviour or by becoming easily upset.
Each child has unique 'triggers' and will respond differently but here are 5 tips that I have found to help.
1) Talk Getting your child to express their feelings can go a long way to helping them decompress. I have found getting my son his own diary has allowed him to express his feelings more openly, because sometimes words are hard to say aloud.
2)Drawing/painting Drawing is a great way to express emotions and gives children an outlet to focus their feelings- it can also help them to relax!
3)Pick your battles As a parent I think this is a good rule in general, but when dealing with a child who suffers from anxiety it plays an even bigger part.
Anxious children tend to get stuck on "loops", these are often ways for them to release negative emotions. So suddenly a light not being bright enough or needing three books to sleep with become large issues for them.
I have found the need to sort through these issues, based on importance is key! Will not letting him sleep with three books teach him something of importance? No- so I let that battle go!
4) Distractions Anxiety attacks can be upsetting and frustrating to handle as a parent, no one wants to see their child struggle through emotional pain and it can leave you feeling helpless. This is where distractions can play a helping hand. With my son, I can see when an anxiety attack is starting and if you can distract them before it is in full swing, you may be able to avoid one altogether!
Pointing out random objects, bringing up their favourite game, talking about something that made them happy or even getting them to do a physical activity such as finger tapping, clapping or clicking can all be used as distractions.
5)Remember, breathe! Easier said than done right? But try, it isn't always easy but you need to take time for yourself, in the long run it will benefit your child too!