Conquering Childhood Anxiety

Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental health issues effecting kids and teenagers. However, they are usually untreated, undetected or misdiagnosed.  Rather than viewing your child as fragile and shielding them from stress and fear-producing situations the key is exposing them to feared stimuli or situations.  Think of it as inoculating your child.  Exposure to the fear produces immunity.  The child learns that the fear is unreasonable, they have the ability to conquer the fear and they build confidence to do it again and deal with other anxiety-provoking situations.  Equally important is the role we as parents take.  We need to coach them and help them develop positive, rationale ways of thinking about anxiety while careful not to be overprotective or manifest anxiety ourselves.  Our children take their cues from us.  We need to demonstrate calm, matter-of-fact ways of helping our children and instilling confidence in them.