Is your child highly sensitive, easily stressed out or excessively nervous?
Is your child highly self-critical or preoccupied with how others view him or her?
Does your child struggle with changes to routine or attempt to avoid situations that he or she perceives as stressful?
Do you wish you could help your child relax, have an easier time adjusting, and just be a kid?
Childhood anxiety can manifest in many ways. Some children are perfectionists and deeply afraid making mistakes, often to the extent that they avoid certain tasks or situations. Other children are resistant to change; they struggle to adjust to shifts in routine or function well in unstructured environments. Still other children are highly sensitive—prone to self-criticism, excessive worry and emotional outbursts. Regardless of how your child experiences anxiety, trying to understand and address his or her symptoms can leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed yourself.
How to determine if your child is suffering from anxiety.
Because anxiety in children manifests itself in many ways, it can be difficult for parents to identify and help their child. Oftentimes, anxious children are very high functioning and polite, so their anxiety can be masked behind achievements and overly accommodating behaviors. Children prone to anxiety also tend to be naturally sensitive, making it hard for parents to determine if certain symptoms are a reflection of their child’s inherent temperament or if they are indicative of deeper issues at play.
Although it can difficult to determine if your child is experiencing heightened anxiety, there are a few classic, concerning symptoms to look for. If your child is experiencing an irritability that is affecting his or her ability to function well, has noticeable self-esteem issues, is overly critical of his or herself or of others, avoids specific situations or is unable to bounce back from minor setbacks, seeking professional help may be essential. A therapist can help determine if your child is going through a phase, experiencing increased stress due to a particular life circumstance, or is suffering from a child anxiety disorder.
Therapy can offer guidance, support and relief.
At Cartersville Counseling & Therapy, we recognize the needs of the entire family, and thus equip parents with education, tools and strategies to reduce stress and undue strain. We offer strategies to you as a parent to use on a daily basis as well as in the moments when heightened anxiety consumes your child. You can develop skills to help your child self-regulate his or her emotions, calm down, and view situations more positively and practically.
It is often said, “Small child, small problem. Big child, big problem.” Seeking early intervention while your child is young can prevent counterproductive patterns from becoming entrenched while providing your child with valuable, lifelong coping skills. With the right approach and therapist, both you and your child can become better equipped to deal with difficult emotions and handle the ups and downs of childhood and adolescence. Getting support and strategies in place now can not only help your child feel and function better sooner, but it can also set the stage for your child’s long-term mental, emotional and academic success.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
It seems like everyone I know – including myself – is experiencing some level of anxiety. Is this really a problem for my child?
Anxiety is extremely common. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues in the U.S. However, just because anxiety is common, it does not mean it should be overlooked or ignored. In fact, anxious feelings can be “contagious.” If one family member is experiencing heightened anxiety, everyone else in the home may be impacted. It’s common for small problems to routinely feel like really big deals, making it hard for everyone to relax.
Although it can be hard for the untrained person to diagnosis anxiety, you know your child better than anyone else. If your child appears to be suffering and you believe a problem exists, it likely does. We can help to determine if your child is, in fact, suffering from an anxiety disorder, or if there are other issues that need to be addressed.