Recognizing the signs of anxiety in your child can be difficult. Because you spend so much time with your child, you may not have noticed when they started to change or when certain behaviors changed from occasional outbursts to consistent behaviors. Many times, it is common for parents to hear about their child’s anxiety from a teacher or another adult who spends less time with their child or who is with them in a setting other than home.
A child with anxiety may become more difficult to deal with, regardless of whether parents have experienced anxiety themselves. Luckily, there are healthy ways to help your child handle their anxiety. If you are looking to relieve the anxiety your child is feeling while learning how to minimize the impact that anxiety can have on the rest of your family, Destination: Peace, an online course from parent coach Erin Taylor, may be the perfect solution for you.
Keep reading to learn more about childhood anxiety and how the Destination: Peace course can help support and guide you and your child through a difficult period.
This Course Contains:
- Five modules. Each self-paced module is full of information that will deepen your knowledge of the subject while providing you with useful strategies for helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Because you work through the course at your own speed, you don’t have to change your schedule or feel as though you have to rush to catch up.
- An Introduction/Overview of the Course
- What is Anxiety?
- What Does Anxiety Look Like?
- What Causes Anxiety?
- Strategies to Reduce/Manage Anxieties
- Videos made by Erin Taylor. In these videos, Erin discusses these subjects in a thorough, yet easy-to-follow manner. Erin is a certified parent coach whose books, podcasts, blogs, and coaching have helped many parents build stronger relationships with their children.
This course never expires! Once you pay for it, you can return to it again and again.
Sign up for this class now and find out how you can offer your children help with their anxiety.
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Overview of Childhood Anxiety
We hear a lot about anxiety in today’s culture, and for good reason: anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 40 million adults (approximately 18% of the population) are affected by anxiety disorders.
For children and adolescents, the stats paint a startling picture. The CDC found that 5.5% of kids ages 6-17 have been diagnosed with anxiety, while the National Institute of Mental Health statistics show that as high as 31.9% of children between the ages of 13 and 18 have some form of anxiety disorder. The research shows a steady upward trend that may be due to better diagnoses, or because more and more children and adolescents are feeling extra pressures that kids didn’t use to have.
Regardless of why anxiety disorders are increasing, it is of vital importance that you, as a parent, have some working knowledge of what anxiety is, what it may look like, and what treatment options are available. In the following sections, you will learn more about these topics.
If you are ready to help your child and the rest of your family deal with anxiety, sign up for Destination: Peace, an online parenting class taught by Erin Taylor, parent coach. The class is full of useful information to help contextualize your child’s anxiety, while also providing you with ways to help your child manage their anxiety and help your family become more informed and supportive.
What is Anxiety?
The definition of anxiety is relatively simple: feelings of nervousness, unease, and/or worry that are most often experienced when a situation has an unknowable or uncertain outcome. When you apply this definition to a person, especially when it is one of your children, it can be difficult to determine what is normal nervousness and when anxiety has become a state that may have many negative effects.
Is All Anxiety Bad?
Anxiety is a normal part of life for children and adults. Nervousness about one’s performance at school or work, as well as adapting to changes, are all completely natural responses that everyone deals with at some point. In fact, some anxiety can actually have positive effects! When you study hard for a test or push yourself to perform better at a sport or other activity, a little anxiety will help you maintain focus and the ability to concentrate better than some people who approach these situations in a relaxed manner.
Causes of Childhood Anxiety
It is easy to say that children have it better now than at any other point in history, but is that really true? While we have greatly improved the lives of kids compared to past generations, many other stressors are a part of their lives that even you, a parent, may not have had to deal with.
The Stress of Expectations
As more and more parents take an active role in planning for long-term academic success for their children, the stress of expectations can very easily push your child into an anxious state.
If you are pushing your child towards a certain prep school in order to get them into a good university, or if you are encouraging them to step up their dedication to an athletic endeavor, you may be adding too much stress to their lives.
As we mentioned above, some anxiety can make your child a better athlete or test-taker, but if they feel as if they are being consistently pushed harder and harder, that anxiety will begin to take a toll on them. Their athletic performance will dip and their grades will drop.
Most parents did not grow up with the internet as a huge part of their daily life. For the average parent, the internet is important, but it isn’t the only way that they interact with other people or absorb culture.
For kids today, everything is online. From social networking to watching the latest YouTube star, the internet is their gateway to the world. While this can lead to incredible opportunities to learn, it also comes with a lot of extra work to maintain their standing with their peer groups.
Cyber-bullying and harassment are the extreme end of this stress, but even seemingly “normal” interactions can be a tremendous source of anxiety for some kids; keeping up with what peers are talking about, responding to messages in an ultra-timely manner, etc.
Stress at Home
Children are very perceptive. If you are bringing negativity or stress into the home, they will absorb it and it will have an impact on them. While it is good that your child has empathy, it is nearly impossible for most children to be able to handle all of the normal stresses of school and extracurricular activities when they are worried about what is going on at home. If your child is especially sensitive, they may notice and react to tensions before you even realize there is a problem.
Many adults have a hard time understanding how or why a child could be suffering from anxiety. While most people think that being a kid is far easier than being an adult, if they think back to their own childhood, they would probably find many moments where they were scared or unsure or anxious about something. Maybe they were lucky enough to overcome those moments without lasting effects, but the reality is that they may have picked up some negative habits about how to handle stress and anxious feelings.
In Destination: Peace, Erin Taylor talks about many of the coping mechanisms that humans have either created as a part of our culture, or as the coping mechanisms that we have carried with us as we evolved as primates. While some of these strategies have helped us stay alive, many of them can have very negative long-term effects. This class will help show many of the different strategies people have used as well as some newer, more positive strategies to teach to your child. Sign up today to start helping your child with their anxiety, or check out the rest of our site to learn about how Erin Taylor can help you with personalized parent coaching.
Signs of Childhood Anxiety
- Inability to focus
- Agitation or annoyance
- Throwing tantrums
- Having problems sleeping
- Stomach aches
- Problems dealing with school and other activities
As evidenced by the list of signs and symptoms, anxiety takes on many forms. Some children will exhibit many of these signs, while others may only show one or two. When you are trying to talk to your child about their anxiety, it can be difficult for them to know how to communicate the way that they feel because they don’t have the emotional vocabulary necessary for them to tell you exactly what is happening to them. It is in those cases that it is common to see physical symptoms arise — the confusion and frustration of anxiety, and an inability to discuss it clearly, can manifest physically.
You may notice that your child’s personality has changed, or that their grades are starting to slip or that they are much more disruptive or withdrawn than they used to be. If you see this happening, it is better to take action as quickly as possible. Even if the symptoms turn out to be temporary, when your child knows that you are there for them and ready to help, it will be easier for them to come to you if these, or other, problems arise again.
How Destination: Peace Can Help
Destination: Peace was designed by a parent in order to provide other parents with tools they need to be able to identify and manage their child’s anxiety. The course features important information about childhood anxiety, as well as methods that can help families come together instead of fall apart in the face of it.
The course will discuss the natural reactions we have to anxiety, as well as how to avoid falling into negative coping methods. From simple tools like better managing your child’s time to more complex ways of altering associations that cause anxiety, Erin Taylor walks you through many different strategies in order to help you find the ones that are best suited for your family.
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How Anxiety Affects Families
The effects of anxiety on a family can be numerous, long-lasting, and far-reaching. While the most severe effects of anxiety are centered on the person with the anxiety, their isolation can have a profound impact on the way that an entire family functions and relates to one another.
Disrupted, Reduced, or Difficult Communication
One of the most obvious effects of childhood anxiety is problems with communication. If your child has gotten more quiet lately, or they don’t offer up information about their day as freely as they used to, or even become more bitter and reactionary, it can lead to a lot of stress within the family. Tension caused by reduced, difficult, or disrupted communication can lead to anger, bitterness, and feelings of hopelessness for everyone in the family. If the cause of these feelings (your child’s anxiety) is not dealt with quickly and appropriately, the anxiety will become even more entrenched in the child and in the home.
Destination: Peace provides parents with a number of strategies that will help ease communication problems in a healthy and productive way. By implementing some of these ideas into your daily interactions with your child, you can start to see improvements in your communications and in the way that you feel.
As a parent, when something is wrong with your child, you want to fix it. That’s natural. Your caring nature can turn to frustration and anger if what you are doing to help isn’t having the results you want and know that they need. While you may not turn that frustration on your child, if you let it fester, it will only further disconnect you from your child. Before your frustration turns into resignation, check out Destination: Peace. The course was designed to help every member of the family, including you.
While we mentioned isolation in an earlier section of this page, it is important to go into more detail about it because it can be one of the most powerful and devastating effects of anxiety. Because anxiety tends to trigger our fight-or-flight response, it can keep us separated from people. While some children who are anxious will choose to withdraw and move away (physically, emotionally, and socially) from people, it can cause others to act out, and both are isolating.
Isolation can lead to self-doubt and fear that one is alone, which can cause even more anxiety, which further isolates someone from their friends, family, and classmates. While anxiety is not contagious, it creates enough negative ripple effects that the isolation an anxious child feels can spread to the rest of your family.
To find ways that your family can confront and control anxiety and the tension and problems caused by anxiety, sign up for the Destination: Peace class from parent coach Erin Taylor. The class is designed to provide you with a deeper understanding of what anxiety is, how it impacts people physically and mentally, and changes you can make to guide your children to a better place.