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How to Deal with Anxiety in Children

Anxiety in Children

When it comes to anxiety counselling services provided by and other highly trained and competent professionals, there are a number of ways to assist. After all, counselling is only one part of healthy living, and all those struggling with mental illness must learn to accept and move through their illness, not allowing it to define them, their actions and the course of their life.

So, what can parents, friends and educators do to deal with anxiety in children outside of anxiety counselling? They must remember to be gentle but firm. They must be understanding but not enabling. And, they must also provide the resources and information necessary for the child to learn about their anxiety in a healthy and progressive environment. Let’s look at each of these techniques in more detail.

Techniques for Dealing with Childhood Anxiety

Gentle Firmness

Gone are the days of telling people to toughen up. They never should’ve existed in the first place, as the technique is flawed in almost every regard. People don’t want to be held up against their peers and compared. They want to be unique individuals with unique needs, thoughts and feelings. This must be respected and accounted for when dealing with everyone, not just those with anxiety.

However, this does not mean you need to victimize individuals with anxiety. Anxiety is the result of a natural process expressing itself in an extreme way. It can be overwhelming, debilitating and frustrating, among other things. Still, it is treatable. It is conquerable to some extent. And that must always be in the back of your mind as you provide support and guidance.

Understanding Without Enabling

Giving children struggling with anxiety some slack is no problem. They may skip their homework because they don’t feel well or skip a social visit out of tiredness. These behaviours aren’t an issue in isolated instances. But just like you would treat a child who didn’t have anxiety, these individuals must also know that there are consequences to their actions.

Leniency is not ignorance. If your child refuses to attend school for more than a day or two, ensure that they are treated as though they are sick and in need of assistance. You wouldn’t let a child with a broken leg lay around for two days before attending the doctor, and mental health is no different.

This is the crux of understanding without enabling when it comes to anxiety counselling. You want to show compassion, allyship and trustworthiness in your actions, but that also means helping the child see how their actions are negatively affecting their life and providing them with similar boundaries to their peers.

Anxiety in Children

Providing Education and Resources

The final technique involves educating those with anxiety about their situation. There is no better medicine than knowledge where it concerns mental health, as it is this knowledge that will help them identify their behaviours in themselves and in others. Only through knowing thine enemy can one ever hope to overcome them, as the saying roughly goes.

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