Medical Video: How Parents Can Help With Child Anxiety | UCLA CARES Center
Everyone must have experienced anxiety with different causes. However, did you know that feelings of anxiety do not only occur in adults, but also in children? They can be anxious because of certain things, for example because they face an exam, enter a new environment, or see their parents fighting.
As a parent, it may not be easy to know whether your child is experiencing anxiety or not. Because often, children are hesitant or ashamed to express what they are feeling. However, if your child cries a lot, closes himself, avoids social contact, complains of abdominal pain or headaches, often panics, and constantly worries about something, it can be a sign that your child is experiencing anxiety.
You certainly will not let your child continue to experience anxiety, because it can interfere with daily activities, even affecting the relationship between children and parents. Even if left unchecked, anxiety can trigger depression in children. But the good news is, you can do something to help your child apart from anxiety. Here are some ways you can apply.
Let your child get used to things that make him uncomfortable
The first thing you need to remember in helping your child overcome his anxiety is not to avoid the child from things that make them anxious. This will only make the child feel better for a while, but it can strengthen that anxiety in the long run.
If your child is in a situation that makes them uncomfortable, leave it alone. This can help them learn to tolerate anxiety.
Entertain with positive words, but still be realistic
Giving reinforcement to children when they are anxious can help them overcome their anxiety. The phrases you can convey include, "Take it easy, you will be fine, how come" or "You can certainly handle it."
Respect his feelings
When a child feels anxious about something, you should not underestimate these feelings, but must respect them. One way is to say, "I know you're scared, but it's okay. Mother is here with you, everything will be fine. "
Don't strengthen your anxiety
When you find out that your child is anxious, you can ask about how he feels. You are not encouraged to trigger your child's fears by saying, "Hiiiihh there are cockroaches!" Or, "Don't, later be bitten!" Or a sentence that can actually trigger fear which ultimately makes him anxious when he sees cockroaches or dogs.
Give examples of overcoming anxiety well
As a parent, you might prefer to hide the anxiety you feel in front of your child. In fact, showing anxiety in front of children doesn't matter, as long as you show them how to calm anxiety. With that, you indirectly teach them how to manage anxiety.