Anxiety – how to help your child
All children experience anxious feelings as part of their normal childhood development. Some anxious feelings include fear, agitation, nervousness, worry and apprehension. Some children find it harder to get these feelings under control and may experience anxiety more intensely and more often than others.
Anxiety is when the level of fear or worry about something is out of proportion to the level of risk or danger. Thinking about the situation makes them more worried and tense.
If your child is experiencing anxiety try to:
• Acknowledge your child’s fear – don’t dismiss or ignore it.
• Gently encourage them to do things they’re anxious about,
but don’t push them to face situations they’re not yet ready to face.
• Wait until they actually get anxious before you step in to help
• Praise him for doing something they’re anxious about, rather than criticising them for being afraid.
• Avoid labelling your child as ‘shy’ or ‘anxious’.
Your child might need some extra support if their anxiety stops them from doing the things they want to do or interferes with their friendships, school work or family life.
If you are worried about your child, contact your local Community Health Nurse, School Psychologist or General Practitioner. For more information about anxiety in children go to www.raisingchildren.net.au or www.healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au
The link below outlines the services provided by Community Nurses in schools in WA
CAHS – School Health