Anxiety in Children
We've talked before about anxiety around parenting and mental health challenges for teens, but what about younger children? Modern life is rife with external demands and pressing concerns that threaten our global well-being and children are increasingly affected at younger ages. According to the CDC, since 2007, anxiety rates in children have increased and are now at 7.1% of children have at one time been diagnosed with anxiety.
But what does it mean to contend with anxiety when you're a toddler? Knowing that behavioral problems often coincide with a diagnosis of anxiety or depression and that a parent can anticipate increasing behavioral problems between the ages of 6-11, how can we as parents best support young children in developing coping mechanisms for anxiety?
Natasha Daniels, founder of AT Parenting Survival Podcast and the anxioustoddlers.com website, is here to help. It probably comes as no surprise that as parents, we are our children's first line of defense. We provide models of coping behavior and, ideally, a safe space for our children to talk about and plan how to manage their feelings and fears. Fostering a close connection and facilitating communication is at the root of helping our kids manage stress.
In this podcast, Natasha Daniels talks about ways in which we as parents sometimes shut down the lines of communication. If you are worried about being a parent your child can talk to or are struggling with a child who is not talking to you, the best way to start equipping our tool belts is to foster awareness about how our behaviors can impact our children.
Want to learn more about childhood anxiety and wondering if your child may be struggling with something more than a fear of monsters under the bed? Here's a great article from the American Psychological Association.