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Anxiety in Children: What I Learned

These are things that I learned through the process of freeing my children from child anxiety, and that I learned from reading about it and talking to many other parents with anxious children. I hope some of it can be of use to you!

Please keep in mind that I’m not a trained professional – I’m just a mother with some experience with an anxious son and daughter. This is not medical advice!

  • Dont’t give up – If my kids could be set free from their child anxiety, yours can too.
  • Freeing a child from child anxiety can be a quick process – the minds of children are pretty easy to influence in a positive direction. They are not so set in their way of thinking, I suppose.

    It took longer with my son than with my daughter, but children are different people with different personalities. I think the anxiety sat harder and deeper down in my son than in my daughter, and he was older than she was when I saw that I had to do something. And we didn’t have The Anxiety-Free Child to begin with.

  • Anxiety in children that is a result of a big, traumatic event like divorce, a death in the family or sudden unemployment for one (or both) of the parents is usually easier to fix than in kids who are born with it, or where there is no big event like that to point to.
  • Child anxiety can usually be cured! Children are very open to positive influences. A loving parent who really tries to help in a positive way will often be successful. Good intentions are a good start, but an effective method is vital, in my opinion.
  • It’s not always possible to cure child anxiety completely, but there will almost always be a positive effect. It’s a good idea to have realistic expectations. Both my kids were completely freed from their child anxiety. But they are not fearless – my son is still a little wary of other kids, and my daughter does sometimes complain of a stomach ache when there’s something she doesn’t want to do. These are normal things in children.
  • Anxiety in children is not a sickness, but a state that can be handled or even cured (if that’s the right word).
  • Good guidance will be extremely helpful. In my personal opinion, the help I got from The Anxiety-Free Child was absolutely vital to the success my husband and I achieved. I think it not only helped us see what the problem really was, but it also shortened the time we needed to make it work.
  • It takes time and effort to free a child from anxiety. I knew I would never give up, and I would do anything I had to do. If The Anxiety-Free Child had not worked, I would have tried getting help from a trained child psychologist.
  • Getting rid of child anxiety is not the child’s responsibility – it is the parents who must do it. It is not helpful to become impatient or exasperated and berate the child for being timid. That could easily make the anxiety worse. None of this is the child’s fault.
  • It helps a lot if both parents follow the same plan in trying to release the child of anxiety. My son showed a lot of improvement after his father became deeply involved in a very positive way. I strongly suggest doing this from the beginning – use the The Anxiety-Free Child Program as a guide, and involve the other parent without one of you trying to take over the project.
  • It is usually not necessary to tell the child exactly what you are trying to do – your son or daughter may not understand. If you try to explain that you are trying to free them from child anxiety, they might think that there is something wrong with them. That will not be helpful. Of course, it depends on how old the child is. Older children can – and probably should – be recruited to help free themselves of child anxiety. If you explain it properly to them, they will take it very seriously.
  • But of course, the child has to be active, because the change has to happen inside their minds. They have to do the real work, and our job as parents is to show them what to do support them.
  • It is possible to free a child from anxiety without going to a psychologist, but I would suggest that you don’t discard that option. I know from talking to parents with anxious children that the success rate when using a psychologist can be high. Much depends on the therapist – some are good, some are not, and you usually don’t know which is which before you try. A psychologist who has a high rate of success for other kids may not be able to do much for your child – children have different personalities, too. I would also say that having your own resource – like The Anxiety-Free Child – is very valuable whether or not you end up consulting a trained professional. It is often possible to attack the problem on two fronts!
  • It can take time to realize that a child is suffering from anxiety. That’s okay – better late than never. Some ways of releasing a child from anxiety will not be effective before the child is over a certain age anyway. In young children, it’s always a possibility that they will grow out of it. It’s the kids that don’t grow out of it that need our help. Sometimes you can tell from an early age that the child is anxious, and sometimes the anxiety comes later.
  • Anxiety in children can take different shapes. Some kids are anxious when they are away from their parents, some have trouble socializing with other kids, some don’t like going to school, and so on. But the way to deal with the anxiety is pretty much the same, by giving the child a new way of thinking and tools to help keep the anxiety away.
  • Freeing a child from child anxiety is important, but not just to give them a better childhood, free of irrational fears and anxieties. A person’s mental health as an adult will usually be better if they are not dragging old anxieties with them from many years back. Children with untreated child anxiety will often develop other anxieties when they grow up, such as social anxiety (very common and very debilitating), general anxiety, panic attacks and so on. You are genuinely helping your child have a better life when you release them from child anxiety.
  • Don’t give up hope! It can take time to free a child from child anxiety. I think it’s important to not try one approach after the other if the first method does not seem to work after a week or so. Give the program time to work. For some kids (like my son), these things take time. Be patient!
  • Remember that you are not doing this for yourself – it is for the best of the child to have the problem solved quickly and well. I think I had a little tendency to think of releasing my son from his anxiety as ‘my project’. That probably came from my daily life at work, where I’m used to solving challenges by myself. That could have been a problem, because it might have made me unwilling to let it go and give up control of it if my approach hadn’t worked. Then, I might have been reluctant to take the logical next step, which would have been to contact a child psychologist. As luck would have it, it was not necessary in our case, as the program we used gave us all the guidance we needed.
  • If your oldest child has child anxiety, then it is a good chance the next one will, too. There’s a big hereditary factor in who gets anxiety as a child. But:
  • If one of your children has child anxiety, and you are successful in helping him or her get rid of it, then you will be much quicker to recognize it and take care of it with the next child, and so on. Of course, that depends on how many kids you end up getting! We have three, and the youngest one has no trace of anxiety at all. I think that is at least partly because my husband and I unconsciously use some of the tactics we learned with the older siblings – the anxiety simply had no chance to develop in our youngest. That’s what I think is happening, anyway – we are simply better at parenting our kids because of what we have learned through the process.
  • I know I have mentioned The Anxiety-Free Child many times on this page, but it really did work for us and I’m totally sold on it. I have read a number of books on the subject of anxiety in children, and The Anxiety-Free Child seems to do all that they do and then some. My feeling about the it is that it’s a middle ground between solving the child anxiety challenge all by yourself and going to a child psychiatrist. I would have consulted a psychiatrist if I had to (but I don’t think I would have wanted my kids to be given drugs), but The Anxiety-Free Child gave me an option that was less drastic and just as effective in our case. My suggestion is that you try the program I used or something like it. It is certainly less expensive than regular sessions with a child psychologist. I find it down to earth, focused on the solution and not the problem, and quick to show results.

Here is the link to it: The Anxiety-Free Child Program

I wish you the best of luck in freeing your child from child anxiety!

Ann

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