Anxiety Disorders : Treating Children Effectively

Anxiety Disorder Children and Families  by Lori English.

 Does your child act out in public and throw temper tantrums or refuse to go over sleep overs with friends? It may not be a behavior issue but your child may have anxiety disorder that your child may have anxiety. 

Children’s Anxiety

  1. -Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. 6.8%
  2. Behavioral conduct disorder. 5,0%
  3. Anxiety Disorder. 3.8%

These are three main children’s documented mental illness and anxiety is in third place, however. The Centerfor Disease Control (CDC), states that more than half of children are diagnosed with another disorder that can specifically be connected to anxiety disorder. 


Anxiety Disorder in Children

 A child will show symptoms of anxiety differently according to the age range of the child. It is important to know that some fears and anxiety are age appropriate.

If your child is is throwing temper tanturms at the age of thirteen this is usally not age appropiate. 

Age appropriate behavior is different for each child depending on the way they are raised and if they have a metal illness. There aremany factors are looked at in examing children and their behaviors. 

Ages 5-6 Being Separated From You

can be a scary time for them because they are learning to grasp the reality of leaving parents and are they safe with out them. Their fears and anxiety include being afraid of going to sleepovers and being with one or other parent. It is important in this age period to explain to them about safety. 

Ages 7-11- Vivid Imagination

At the ages of 7-11 child still has a vivid imagination and they are learning to trust the world . In this stage of development they are learning that if something happens to their pet that death is permanent.

Ages 12+

At this age your child cares what their peers think of them and they are starting to move away from you and devolop indepenpendence.

 During the adolescence level, they are likely to develop a lot of fear and anxiety because they are learning new things, and finding what is safe . 

The ability to work with your child through the stages and understand what is going on with your child can help  make an easier transition. Parenting does not come with a guide and everyone makes mistakes, but having this type of knowledge allows you to be informed.


Unrecognized Anxiety

According to their age children may act out in school by fighting, or being aggressive because they are full of anxiety. The ability to diagnose and see anxiety in children is aa little different than adults, but resemble sone of the same criteria.

Children who are diagnosed with anxiety disorder in the teen years usually will have some of the classic that include ability to sit still in class, is fearful to talk in school, and doesnt want to go to school. The physical symptoms of anxiety are inability to sit still, heart racing, sweaty palms, and feeling dizzy. 


What Can Parent’s Do?

Parents need to be proactive in their child’s life by asking questions and getting involved in their life. Being proactive in their lives include asking questions, communicating effectively, and taling to childrens friends parents, too. 

Give your child the time to tell you what it is he/she is afraid of and listen to them intently without interrupting. It’s the same way with an adult we all need to be heard. 

The way children display anxiety is they might say I want to go to the nurse at school. They complain of stomach aches  a lot. Teenagers are afraid of other children in their class and the bullying that goes on they might say they are sick to get out of going to school.

Here is a list of symptoms that Children may show if they are diagnosed with having Anxiety Disorders:

  1. Restlessness, feeling all keyed up.
  2. Inability to focus.
  3. Muscle tension.
  4. Trouble sleeping or falling asleep.
  5. Needing reassurance from friends, family, and teachers consistently.
Treatment for Anxiety

Treatment for children who have anxiety is similar to adults. One of the treatments is Cognitive behavioral therapy is used along with medications .

Untreated anxiety will not go away on its own and needs treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is been used for over twenty years, and gives the child tools to manage his anxiety by knowing what is triggering him/her.  Most adults and childrenwho have anxiety are constantly thinking and worry about one thing or another. Cbt is effectibe in helping change the thoughts and helps to ground children. 

Exposure Therapy slowly and systematically helps a child face his fears. 

This therapy is based on the notion that ” The only way is through”, and means facing and dealing with fears will help eliminating.  Exposure therapy is hard work and is very effective if a child wants to get rid of fear this is effective , however, takes motivation and patience. 

When helping a child recognize his triggers be careful not to make them feel guilty by allowing children to have their fears and not saying things such as ” Just Get Over It’, or you need to Grow up.

 We all have some fears and by working through them and talking about them can make a huge difference in finding the proper treatment.

Future Findings

Children are precious and they are what makes us better parents and strive to make the world a better place. As parents it is our responsibility to give our children the best life possible.  No one is perfect , but having the skills of parenting is needed along with old fashion love . If your child has anxiety reach out to professionals that are experienced to help . 

Anxiety disorder is treatable and our children deserve the best treatment posssible.

If your child has anxiety,  contact a professional social worker or talk to the school about conducting a meeting to ensure that you and your child receive the best treatment possible.

The love and support you give your children is what they need above all with treatment. Being emotionally available is one of the most imprtant ways you can help a child devolop his/her own indenpendence and live a healthy life.








I am a Social Worker who works to help others improve their Anxiety And depression. I work with many people and use many techniques that are combined with practical tips to decrease anxiety and increase self -esteem.

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