Here are things you can do at home to help your child manage his or her anxiety disorder:
- Pay attention to your child’s feelings.
- Stay calm when your child becomes anxious about a situation or event.
- Recognize and praise small accomplishments.
- Don’t punish mistakes or lack of progress.
- Be flexible, but try to maintain a normal routine.
- Modify expectations during stressful periods.
- Plan for transitions (For example, allow extra time in the morning if getting to school is difficult).
Keep in mind that your child’s anxiety disorder diagnosis is not a sign of poor parenting. It may add stress to family life, however. It is helpful to build a support network of relatives and friends.
It's important that you have the same expectations of your anxious child that you would of another child, according to psychologist Lynn Siqueland, PhD. She has specialized in treating children and adolescents with anxiety disorders for more than 15 years. She offers these parenting tips for anxious kids, as well as ways to manage siblings, whose lives are also affected.
SAMHSA Report: how to help children who have experienced traumatic events.