A parents role in todays times has become very challenging and extremely uncertain as well. All learned or read parenting content may not work or completely backfire for parents. Since every child is different and every child had his own way of growing up with varying Social, Family, Genetical, Educational, Religious, Spiritual, emotional etc. environments and influences. Hence for a parent when it comes to acknowledge and deal with their Teenagers anxiety the following tips shall definitely help and assist-
Acknowledge your child’s anxiety:
Accept the fact that your child is anxious and you can help your child by making him aware that you very well understand his/her feelings. This will give them a sense of security. Even if your child is getting anxious on a petty thing or the thing that is unlikely to happen, just assure him/her that he/she is confident enough to handle it instead of telling them not to worry. Make them understand that it’s a very natural human emotion and it can be handled. Let your child know that you understand his/her anxiety. Show compassion to your child and when you will do this, the child will learn self-love and self-compassion and will be able to handle the challenging situations effectively.
2. Talk about it: Encourage your child to talk about his/her anxieties. Talking about it will help to reduce its negative effect. Just be an active listener when your child tells you about his/her insecurities and fears. When you listen and understand, your child is in a better position to deal with it.
3. Encourage strong and brave behavior: Encourage your child to set small goals for the things that create anxiety in him/her.
For example, if your child is fearful to face the audience or give a presentation in front of the class, ask him/her to practice it first in front of family or friends. Don’t force your child to face those situations which cause anxiety in him/her.
4. Teach positive self-talk: Teach your child to give positive affirmations to him/herself whenever he feels anxious. Ask him/her to say these sentences to him/herself like, “I will be able to do it.” “It’s ok to do things differently, because it suits me.”
5. Seeking help: Ask your child to seek help for his work whenever required for example, making a project, preparing a presentation. This will help in reducing anxiety.
Don’t forget to praise your child for doing something that creates anxiety in him/her even if it is a small thing.
7. Quality time: Spend quality time with your child, it should be a family time. This will build trust and confidence in your child.
8. Inculcate healthy life-style: Help your child to learn healthy life-style like, healthy eating habits, proper sleep pattern, physical exercise, time management, being organized.
9. Relaxation techniques: practicing relaxation techniques like, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, mindfulness exercises, yoga, meditation are also very effective to curb anxiety.
*Important: Seek professional help if you notice the following behaviors in your child:
Excessive worry which is uncontrollable
Constantly feeling nervous
Affecting school performance
Feeling of anxiety for a longer period, more than a week.
You can seek professional help for your child from a school counselor or a psychologist.
Your child might be reluctant to talk about his anxiety. They might say that everything is alright and mask their emotions, but notice the pattern of the symptoms, if it matches with the above given symptoms, then seek professional help without any delay. Anxiety is treatable if it noticed at the right time. Remember, parents are the role models of their children and they rely on their parents for almost the things. Parents should always give unconditional love and support to their children no matter what the situation is. Teenagers need it most because even though they would pretend that they do not need it and can be on their own but they are craving for it most of the time. By being a little careful and observant, you can very well manage the teenage anxiety and help your child to live a productive life.
Special note for the parents: Unconditional love and support given to the teens by their parents works wonders for them and helps to shape up the whole personality of the child and is the best treatment for anxiety.