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  • Writer's pictureShannon Kelly

How Can Parents Support Their Child or Teen Who May Be Struggling With Anxiety?

Anxiety can be exhausting for any individual. Ruminating thoughts and repetitive worries can be mentally draining. It is important to understand the biology of anxiety and why it happens. The more knowledge a parent has about anxiety, the more they are able to support their child. 

Mental health challenges can arise for various reasons. Some possibilities are school issues, environmental stressors, including trauma, the death of a loved one, and bullying etc. It may be difficult to recognize anxiety in your child as more often than not, anxious children and teens may act “in” instead of “out”. It is common for children and teens to avoid their anxiety as a strategy. Avoidance can be habitual so it is important to help your child or teen learn to face their fears in a positive and safe manner. 

Remember, as a parent, you are the most influential person in your child or teen’s life, and their anxiety can be successfully managed. Here are a few tips on how to support your child or teen who may be struggling with Anxiety. 

  1. Have patience! 

It takes time to develop new patterns. Though your child or teen’s behaviour can be very frustrating and concerning, it can be helpful to know that your child or teen isn't acting out on purpose. 

  1. Engage in calm activities together 

You can encourage your child or teen to join you on a walk, listening to their favourite music, drawing, painting, watching a movie, and journaling etc. 

  1. Don’t avoid things just because they make your child or teen anxious! 

If you help your child avoid things they fear, it typically only benefits them short-term. If avoiding fears becomes habitual, it will reinforce the anxiety in the long run. 

  1. Help your child manage their anxiety, rather than eliminate it 

The best way to help your child or teen overcome anxiety is to help them learn how they can manage their anxiety rather than eliminate it. 

It is important to seek professional intervention for your child as early as possible as Anxiety Disorders can potentially affect your child’s social skill development, emotional well-being, and physical health. We are here to help! 

A child and teen sitting together

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