Every individual suffers from anxiety at some point in life, and so do children. 

Some fears and worries are normal and a typical part of childhood. However, if the anxiety lingers and starts affecting your child’s life, they may need your help and professional intervention to deal with it. 

Let’s find out more about anxiety in children. 

What is Anxiety And What is an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety is the feeling of tension, worry, and uneasiness, along with physical changes such as a rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure.

It is normal to have some anxiety in your day to day life. However, when anxiety begins to interfere with your ability to function, it is characterised as a mental health condition called an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Disorder in Children

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in children. 

Children who suffer from an anxiety disorder show fear, nervousness, and shyness and start to avoid things and places that make them anxious. 

Anxiety disorders may coexist with depression, eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other mental health issues in children.

Children can feel anxiety around various situations, such as being away from a parent, having an extreme fear of animals or insects, being afraid of going to school and other social settings, or having severe apprehension about the future. 

Children may keep their anxiety to themselves and display no symptoms. However, common symptoms of anxiety include fatigue, headache, stomachache, and sleep issues.

What Can Parents do? 

Children may not have the resources to comprehend or words to express how they feel when they are experiencing anxiety. 

You can help your child deal with anxiety by adopting the following measures:

1. Start communication: Talk to your child about anxiety, how it feels, and its physical symptoms, so that they may recognise what they are feeling. 

Your approach should be gradual, not forceful. Reassure them of your support and understanding.

2. Observe and listen: Watch out for signs of anxiety and withdrawal in your child. Encourage your child to speak about their feelings. 

Make them comfortable by showing that you are listening. Appreciate and reassure them whenever they talk about their anxiety. 

3. Build routines: Children thrive on predictability and find routines reassuring. Try to abide by a daily routine for your child, with fixed timings for meals, physical activity, and sleep. 

4. Practise relaxation techniques: Teach your child calming exercises like deep breathing and nature walks so that they may learn how to manage their anxiety better. 

5. Seek professional help: This need not be the last option. A child psychologist can be a useful resource at any stage of dealing with your child’s anxiety. 

Trained mental health professionals will be able to get through to your child and help them with their anxiety. 

When family and professional support is provided, your child can learn to manage anxiety successfully.

These are especially trying times. Do not hesitate to reach out for help for yourself or your child. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.