What TO Do if a Child has Anxiety, and What NOT To Do

How we inadvertently fuel anxiety, instead of helping

Parents are asking: What can I do to help my child’s anxiety? And to talk about what to do when a child has anxiety, we have to also talk about what not to do, because its all too common that in our efforts to help, we may actually be fueling the cycle of anxiety. 

 

Understanding the Cycle of Anxiety

First, let’s understand the cycle of anxiety and how some of our common ways of helping can fuel that cycle. When a child is afraid to do something, such as go in their room alone or join a social activity, they may avoid it. And when they avoid it, they feel relief. And yet this feeling of relief is temporary as now their anxiety about going in their room or going to a friend’s house can get bigger. And the longer they avoid it, the bigger it gets.

 

Fueling anxiety through avoidance 

One mistake parents make when trying to help their child with anxiety is to completely avoid the task, despite...

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