Does My Child Have Anxiety?
Anxiety affects many people for many reasons.
Brain science tells us that our amygdala (pronounced a-mig-dah-lah), is the part of our brain where our emotions come from. It is the job of our amygdala to help keep us safe by recognising danger so we can react to it. Sometimes it does such a great job it can often mistake ongoing stress as fear.
If your amygdala gets too upset and emotions get too strong it can stop us from learning or even remembering what we already know.
More importantly, it can get in the way of sending the right message to parts of the brain that help us to make good choices.
If your child starts doubting their abilities, anxiety can get in the way of learning or being able to demonstrate their knowledge. Sometimes this can even be mistaken for a learning disorder when it’s possibly just anxiety.
Sometimes a person can become so frozen with fear with their anxiety they cannot respond to questions even if they know the answer and have been paying attention.
Your child may have anxiety if they;
often look for reassurance from you
avoid some situations
tell you they are feeling sick or in pain
avoid taking risks or trying new things
Your child may display behaviours including;
asks for help even though they can do it
refuses to get ready for school
refuses to go to sleep without you, or regular nightmares
will watch others rather than have a go
talks of being scared of many things
negative perspective on life in general
has trouble answering questions
A vital strategy for coping with anxiety is correct deep breathing. This helps to calm the amygdala and relieve anxiety. For some fun ideas and ways to do this check out Miggy in our shop or visit Sparklers for activities to do with your child.
As parents it is also valuable for us to;
Acknowledge all feelings and emotions
Spend time listening and explaining how anxiety works
Know that we are not alone
Understand that it's a natural brain activity that just got a little too excited.
Acknowledge inner strengths and capabilities in all of us
Reassure that everything will be ok
Be conscious of the language and discussions we have around our children
Enjoy laughter together!
Spend time talking about what makes them anxious but also what makes them brave!
Acknowledge when they are being brave!
If you have ongoing concerns or worries it is vital that you seek professional assistance.
Tools to help with anxiety
Miggy - available in our shop
Big Life Journal - Facebook
If this post has ignited more questions than answers please check out these amazing posts online.
Don't be afraid to seek professional help. You are your child's biggest advocate.