Anxiety is a normal emotion.
However anxiety in children can be distressing for everyone in the family. Firstly, it needs to be said that everyone experiences anxiety in one form or another at various times in their day. If we did not experience a bit of anxiety we would not get out of bed, keep to routines or jump out of the way when a ball flies in our direction. It is only a problem when anxiety takes over our life, stops us from trying or even worse withdrawing from things we love doing. For example, your child may not want to go to school, may easily give up when they face a challenge or not want to be separated from you.
Parenting a child with anxiety
Fiona Perrella, our Resilience Educator has experienced parenting a child with anxiety and knows how it feels. She has experienced the guilt (“Was it something I did?”), the sadness (“I just want my child to be happy”) and the frustration as all her usual parenting tricks did not work. Click here to read more of Fiona’s reasons for starting Strength Heroes.
It was one of the major reasons for establishing Art of Resilience which has now morphed into Strength Heroes. We exist to provide support for parents, teachers, schools, community groups to support children dealing with big emotions. For example, our BAT and Emotion Wizzy Dizzy tools help children to recognise, identify and deal with emotions. These tools are based on Cognitive Behaviour and Acceptance Commitment Therapy theories and research. Additionally, everything we do is done through a strengths based lens which is founded on the principles of Positive Psychology.
What you can do to help your child with anxiety
Firstly, read our blog on the importance of supporting children’s emotions.
Strength Heroes does not have the skills or expertise that the health community bring to the treatment of anxiety. We leave that to the experts and see our workshops as a being complimentary for children who are working with therapists. A number of children who attend our workshops use their NDIS plans for our workshops, although we are not an NDIS provider. For more see our Frequently Asked Questions.
When your child’s anxiety is ongoing
While it is normal for children to experience a range of emotions, the problem is when those emotions take over. Therefore, if you feel like your child’s anxiety needs clinical attention:
Step 1: Visit your doctor
Your GP is equipped to assist you work out the next steps.
Step 2: Look for online resources
There are also great resources on line such as Beyond Blue which have free resource for parents and teachers supporting children to deal with anxiety. They advise the best approach is to help children learn to cope with anxiety. Check out their strategies for you to try.
Could your child do with a dose of resilience? Browse our school holiday activities.