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  • Writer's pictureChristina

Parenting Anxious Children with Compassion and Support

Updated: Apr 11


Parenting Anxious Children with Compassion and Support

Parenting is a journey filled with joys, challenges, and moments of profound growth. When faced with the unique challenge of parenting an anxious child, navigating this journey can feel especially daunting. Anxiety in children is a common and complex issue, impacting their emotional well-being, social interactions, and academic performance.


In this blog post, we'll learn how to recognize the potential signs of anxiety in your child, and some strategies to navigate this. As parents, it's crucial to approach this challenge with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to nurturing resilience in our children while also being kind to yourself.


Understanding Anxiety in Children


Anxiety is a natural human emotion, but when it becomes overwhelming and interferes with daily life, it can be classified as an anxiety disorder. In children, anxiety disorders manifest in various forms, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Common symptoms of anxiety in children may include excessive worrying, avoidance behaviors, physical symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.


Recognizing the Signs


Recognizing the signs of anxiety in children is the first step towards providing them with the support they need. Some common signs to look out for include:


  1. Excessive Worrying: Children may express worries about a wide range of topics, including school, social situations, family issues, or health concerns.

  2. Avoidance Behaviors: Children may avoid certain activities, situations, or places that trigger their anxiety, such as school, social gatherings, or new experiences.

  3. Physical Symptoms: Anxiety in children can manifest in physical symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, nausea, or muscle tension, particularly in response to stressors.

  4. Difficulty Sleeping: Children with anxiety may struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing frequent nightmares or night terrors.

  5. Changes in Behavior: Anxiety can manifest in changes in behavior, such as irritability, moodiness, clinginess, or withdrawal from activities and relationships.

Parenting Strategies for Supporting Anxious Children


Parenting an anxious child requires patience, compassion, and a willingness to learn and adapt. Here are some strategies for supporting anxious children:


  1. Create a Safe and Supportive Environment: Foster a nurturing and supportive home environment where your child feels safe expressing their thoughts and feelings without judgment. Validate their emotions and reassure them that it's okay to feel anxious.

  2. Encourage Open Communication: Keep the lines of communication open with your child and encourage them to talk about their worries and fears. Listen actively and empathetically, and avoid dismissing or minimizing their concerns.

  3. Teach Coping Skills: Equip your child with coping skills to manage their anxiety effectively. This may include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness techniques, or positive self-talk.

  4. Set Realistic Expectations: Be mindful of setting realistic expectations for your child, taking into account their individual strengths, challenges, and comfort levels. Avoid pushing them beyond their limits or placing undue pressure on them to perform.

  5. Model Healthy Coping Mechanisms: Children learn by example, so model healthy coping mechanisms and self-care practices in your own life. Show them how to manage stress, practice self-compassion, and seek support when needed.

  6. Seek Professional Help: If your child's anxiety is significantly impacting their daily functioning or quality of life, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A qualified mental health professional can provide a comprehensive assessment, personalized treatment plan, and ongoing support for your child and family.


Fostering Resilience


Above all, remember that resilience is not about avoiding challenges or never experiencing discomfort. It's about learning to navigate life's ups and downs with courage, adaptability, and self-compassion. By providing your anxious child with unconditional love, understanding, and support, you are laying the foundation for their resilience and empowering them to thrive in a complex and ever-changing world. Together, as parents and caregivers, we can foster a generation of resilient, confident, and emotionally healthy children who are equipped to face whatever challenges come their way. Additionally, by seeking out professional help, it releases some of the pressure that you may feel to "do it all".


At Elevation Behavioral Therapy, we offer child therapy in Denver, Colorado to help children and families navigate these challenges.


Please reach out to us at support@elevationbehavioraltherapy.com or call or text us at (720) 295-6566 to schedule a free initial phone consultation or appointment. You may also schedule directly online through our website.


You don't have to do it alone, we're here to support both you and your child.


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