Parenting Resources, Articles & Links
Parenting is difficult. Parenting children with anxiety is a whole other category. We want to assist you in your task as much as possible. On this page you will find resources to help you better parent your anxious child as well as further understand childhood anxiety symptoms and treatment.
Life is stressful and seems to be increasingly so for our children. Although Turnaround can benefit children who are experiencing stress and worry, it excels in helping with major anxiety symptoms in kids. In the world of professional diagnosis and treatment, the term "Anxiety Disorder" is an umbrella term for different specific types of anxieties. The following are the most common types of anxiety in children:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety
- Separation Anxiety
- School Refusal
- Trauma caused Anxiety
How to determine if your child is anxious and needing help
As a parent, it's hard to know when your child needs help or if they will "just grow out of their fears". This can even cause stress between the genders! Women (moms) tend to think there's an issue sooner than men (dads). Men often say, "They just need to get over it. Stop babying them!" Men, generally speaking, are slower to recognize when anxiety has exceeded normal fears.
Many fears are normal. For example, younger children are generally more afraid of physical events and imaginary creatures, while older children are more fearful of social issues and school pressures. Some topics are common fears regardless of age- sickness, pain, doctor visits, natural disasters, and any types of loss or trauma. What you want to assess is how and to what extent your child's fears are affecting them. Here are some things to consider, and we start them all with "S" to keep it simple:
- Surplus: Does the anxiety seem exaggerated with what most people would think a "developmentally normal" reaction? Is there a significant surplus of fear and worry relative to the danger? Is your child frequently unable to stop or control the worry or fear? Does your child have a strongly exaggerated sense of danger or threat? Is it impossible to reason with your child during these episodes?
- Storm: Does your child to get very distraught or easily upset, so much so that it seems like they are out-of-control? Is the fear such a burden that your child seems miserable because of it? Does the emotional reaction seem like an intense storm? Is your child inconsolable or gets worse when you try to help?
- Spoiler: Does the fear and anxiety significantly interfere with his or her daily activities or that of the family? Does it significantly impact sleep, school, friendships or the ability to act independently? Is it spoiling your child's life to some extent? Is it becoming easier to just give in to get some peace?
- Stuck: Does the fear last longer than you would expect? For example, has your child worried consistently for a couple months? Is the fear present most everyday? Is it persistent to the point where you're wondering if your child is stuck? Are you and your child starting to fear it won't get any better?
As a point of reference, consider what has been typical for your child over time. Are things worse than before, or getting worse? Second, consider what seems "typical" of other children of the same age. Are their reactions fairly typical or untypical? Are others commenting on your child behavior, such as teachers, coaches, etc.? If you are still uncertain, it is recommended that you get a professional assessment.
Here is a link to a site with various tests that will help you determine if anxiety is a problem. Click Here.
It can be difficult to realize that your child really does have a problem with anxiety. But don't let your child's struggle cause YOU to lose heart. Childhood anxiety is more common than you might think. Some studies show anxiety in children as high as 20%. There is help for your child out there, be it Turnaround, medication, or some other treatment. Children with anxiety can be helped! You're child's struggle can be something they grow from and become stronger as a result. Your child can, and mostly likely will, jump again with joy and freedom!
Watch this interview with Dr. Christopher McCarthy about child anxiety and Turnaround for more information.