Does your child constantly seek reassurance, or actively avoid situations that worry or frighten them?
Is your child complaining of physical pain while experiencing worry?
Are you noticing your child clinging to you unnecessarily?
Does your child ask for help with things they can do for themselves?
We all experience anxiety at times, it is a normal part of life. However, when it gets out of hand it impacts our confidence and we feel overwhelmed. We tend to lack conﬁdence in their abilities and feel overwhelmed easily. They are also inclined to avoid the things that cause anxiety, therefore missing the chance to understand that the situation is safe, and not to be feared, whilst also compounding the problem. While anxiety is unpleasant and extremely difficult, you are not alone. In Australia in 2016, approximately 278,000 children between the ages of 4 and 17 struggled with clinically significant anxiety, making up 6.9% of kids nationwide. There are many ways that anxiety can be worked through and treated, so that your child can learn to manage it, improve their quality of life, and feel confident once again.
The first act in managing anxiety may be choosing to seek help during difficult times, and we praise you for doing so. Anxiety in children can be a distressing and confusing thing to observe — even more so for the child experiencing it. Untreated anxiety can lead to school refusal, isolation, and anxiety disorders, making it hard for your child and yourself to cope on your own. However, there is hope.
There are effective and evidence-based treatments, therapies and exercises for anxiety to support, guide and assist both you and your child. In doing so, your child's ability to cope, deal with worrying situations, and feel more confident can be improved. Therapies can include age-appropriate ACT, CBT, EMDR, mindfulness, relaxation, exposure, stress and anxiety management, home exercises, and psychoeducation. Anxiety can be daunting, so it's important for you and your child to know that you're not alone. Congratulations in taking the first step, don't be afraid to take the next.