Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How to Help Kids Overcome Their Fear and Anxiety

Childhood is often pictured as a fun, carefree time of life. However, children also have many worries and concerns. Having some anxiety is part of normal life but it becomes a problem when that anxiety starts interfering with children's daily activities.

According to Dr. Donna Pincus author of Growing Up Brave, "one in five children today suffers from a diagnosed anxiety disorder, and countless others suffer from anxiety that interferes with critical social, academic, and physical development."

Feeling Anxious in Different Situations

Feeling anxious isn't fun for anyone. It's natural to want to escape whatever situation is creating the anxiety. However, running away only reinforces the negative feelings associated with it and makes it even harder the next time.

There are also many anxiety producing situations which simply cannot be avoided. For example, everyone must sleep even if going to sleep is difficult due to worries.

Below are some common situations that make children anxious:
  • Going to bed, sleeping alone, sleeping with the lights off
  • Separating from parents for a play date or being left with another adult
  • Encountering animals like dogs, snakes or bugs
  • Going to school, taking tests, speaking in front of the class
  • Performing in a sport
  • Striking up a conversation with a peer, joining in playing
  • Being in an enclosed space like an elevator, subway or airplane
  • Earthquakes, storms, nuclear war or other catastrophic events
When your children are feeling anxious, it's natural to want to reassure them and make things better. Although some things that you may do can actually make things worse like:

(Read the rest of the article on Priceless Parenting)

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