Anxiety in children can manifest in many different ways. As an adult, it is important to recognize the signs and know what actions you can take to treat it.
Sometimes, anxiety rears its ugly head in the form of procrastination. It might be cleaning their room, going to the bathroom, or doing homework. If a child is always putting something off and has no real legitimate reason about why they’re doing it, there might be some anxiety surrounding the particular task. For example, many children put off doing their homework because certain math problems are really difficult. The experience is overwhelming when repeated week after week, and as a result, they become filled with anxiety.
If a child seems extremely clingy and struggle to let go of a parent, they’re more than likely experiencing some form of separation anxiety. Take a look at any new changes or behaviors they’ve experienced recently. For example, if the family relocated to a new home, the child might be afraid to go anywhere in the house alone. To handle this, gently encourage them to start branching out on their own. Until they conquer the fear, be okay with guiding them and keeping them company until their fears dissipate.
There are times when anxiety presents itself at bedtime. Children who fight sleep and would prefer to stay up all night might just be a little rambunctious. However, if they are wide awake at 4am every single morning, something is wrong. Children need their rest to give their growing bodies time to repair. They also need rest so they can be alert and energized for the next day.
While each situation is different, handling them strategically will be too. Depending on the severity of the anxiety, it might be wise to go see a psychologist or licensed social worker with an online masters in social work, for tips to make it through this challenging period. It is better to face the issue head on, instead of sweeping it under the rug or assuming it’s not as big of a deal as it really might be.
The most important act a parent can do is search for the cause. Get to the root of your children’s issues and anxieties. At the core, there may be something that’s going unchecked. It might be a lingering fear, a lie someone told them, or a belief that something can hurt them. As a parent, the best thing you can do is ease fears by creating a safe space for your child to openly communicate at their own pace. These acts of love will lead them to healing.