As parents, we have a big responsibility to help our children when they’re struggling with child anxiety.
So how do you then as a parent know what you should be doing versus what is hindering your children? Maybe it will help to first take a look at some statistics showing the prevalence of child anxiety.
DID YOU KNOW?
*16 million Americans suffer from Anxiety
*Children with anxiety who attend family therapy have an 80% success rate, as opposed to
children who do individual therapy without the family involvement – only 60%
*1 in 5 children have clinical levels of anxiety
*1/3 of children with ADHD have an anxiety disorder
*Anxiety is the leading mental disorder found in children
*Anxiety tends to run in families. Families interactions increase anxiety
Those are some DIFFICULT statistics to stomach. So what can we takeaway from all these?
Anxiety is a common childhood disorder and it can be managed
This is actually good news, because it lets you know just how common anxiety is, and also how researched it is. There is so much that can be done to manage anxiety. There are LOTS of tools and techniques available to us and especially for children, and ways we can be proactive parents in helping our children combat anxiety.
What kind of parenting PERPETUATES anxiety:
1. Parenting that offers less space and freedom to children
2. Parenting that gives children a lack of autonomy
3. Intrusive parenting where parents do for children what they could do for themselves
4. Parents who anxiously appraise situations and often find themselves saying: “No, don’t
do that, Don’t do that”. Children often adopt the way that parents see the world
5. Parents who often question children’s choices
Parenting that creates RESILIENCY in children:
1. Rewarding your children for being proactive rather than reactive
2. Praising children for independent behavior
3. Allowing children to struggle rather than jumping in to help or doing things for them
Sometimes it’s hard to naturally do these things as parents. It’s hard to watch your children struggle, and obviously there is a line where you need to step in. But see if you can notice ways in your language and behavior where you can help your children have space. Space to learn and grow confident in their decisions, knowing they’ll always have your support.