Thursday, June 8, 2017

Does Your Child Worry Too Much?

A lot of people imagine kids to be pretty much fearless. But there are plenty of kids out there who seem to worry a little too much. Maybe it’s something you’ve seen with your own kid. It could be a subtle anxiety that only you have noticed, or something that a lot of their peers have noticed (maybe your child has gained a reputation for being a bit of a “scaredy cat”!)

While many parents won’t worry too much about this, others may fear that their child is missing out on a lot of fun because they’re so caught up in worry and anxiety. Is there anything we can do for children who seem to be more anxious than other kids their age? We’re going to take a quick look at the ways you can help.

What are the specific worries?

It’s going to be hard to tackle these issues if you don’t know what their specific worries are! See if you can note these down yourself when observing your child’s behaviour. If you still think there’s more going on, then ask them directly about their worries and fears. When these emotions are tackled head-on in this manner, it can make them feel a lot less overwhelming.

Safety reassurances

When you know your child’s worries, you can take action. A lot of this will take the form of reassurance. If your child doesn’t play all that much when you go to the park, it may be that they’re worried they’ll hurt themselves really badly. If you’re somewhere that has safe playground surfacing, then make sure they know the place is designed to keep them safe! If they’re always worried that you won’t pick them up from school (a more common anxiety than you may think!), then change their thinking strategy. Reassure them that you’ll always be there after school, and that they should repeat this to themselves so they don’t forget.

Sleep helps everything

A lot of adults know full well that a consistent sleep schedule helps pretty much everything, including stress and anxiety. But many forget that this applies to children, too. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain often goes into a sort of overdrive during the day to try to make up for physical fatigue, which can exacerbate a lot of worries. Make sure your kid is getting the quality sleep they need. Exercise can help wear them out so they can get to bed earlier. If they’re using phones or playing games in the two hours or so before bed, this can actually prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep.

Doctor, doctor

Going to a doctor about this sort of thing seems a little extreme to many parents. And, indeed, it’s even a source of worry for them - often because we assume that the doctor’s solution is to give them medication! This is rarely the case, however. Speaking to a doctor that specializes in child health will help you get to grips with the particular situation at hand, which can be the best strategy if you want to tackle the problem. After all, while this guide may have given you some good pointers, it’s essential to remember that every kid is different. Their situation is unique!

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