As a child therapist who specializes in anxiety, I work with parents every week who have questions and misperceptions about anxiety. Anxiety can be confusing at times and being a parent of anxious kids can be exhausting!
Below are 21 things every parent of anxious kids should know:
1. Anxiety runs in families and has a strong genetic component.
2. Anxiety doesn’t have to be caused by trauma. Most often it’s not.
3. Your anxious kids know their fears are irrational.
4. Anxiety doesn’t have to be triggered by anything. Just like Diabetes, kids can develop anxiety at any age.
5. Anxiety grows bigger when anxious kids avoid anxiety-producing situations.
6. Anxiety can make kids physically sick with stomach aches, headaches and difficulty breathing.
7. Anxious kids are more likely to pull their hair out or pick scabs for no reason.
8. Anxiety can show up in kids as little as one or two.
9. When parents give in and let their anxious kids avoid school continuously, they are more likely to be homeschooled eventually.
10. Anxiety is cyclical and can come and go over time.
11. Anxious kids tend to be more emotionally intelligent.
12. Anxious kids tend to be better at reading social cues and body language.
13. Anxious kids spend much of their time thinking of “what if” thoughts.
14. Anxious kids are more likely to have a harder time with change.
15. Anxious kids are more likely to have heightened senses.
16. Anxious kids are more likely to be picky eaters.
17. Your anxious kids want to get rid of anxiety more than you know.
18. Anxious kids are less likely to face their fears if their parents don’t gently encourage them to do so.
19. Anxious kids can have panic attacks in their sleep. They do not have to be triggered by stress.
20. Intelligent kids can have worries that don’t make sense. Like a fear of sharks at the bottom of a pool.
21. Anxious kids don’t have to be a victim to their anxiety. With skills and tools, they can be empowered to crush their anxiety.
What would you add to this list? Leave a comment below. Do you know someone who has anxious kids? Share this article with them.