Parenting an Anxious Child: 9 Things You Need to Stop Doing Now

As a parent, watching your child struggle with anxiety can be heart-wrenching. It can leave you feeling helpless, frustrated, and unsure of how to help them. Anxiety can be a debilitating condition that affects many aspects of a child’s life, from school and extracurricular activities to friendships, family and daily life. However, there are ways you can support your anxious child without inadvertently making the situation worse.

9 Tips for Parenting Anxious Children

In this blog post, we’ll explore nine things you need to stop doing now if you’re parenting an anxious child and offer practical tips and strategies to help you better support your child’s mental health.

  1. Slow Down: As parents, we all have high hopes for our children’s success. But for anxious kids, pressure to hurry up can backfire. Giving them space and time to complete tasks can prevent outbursts and foster feelings of control. When your child is slow, resist the urge to rush them. Instead, let them take as long as they need to accomplish things at their own pace. This approach can help build self-confidence and independence, valuable skills for the future. Always remember, a little extra time can make a big difference in supporting your anxious child’s mental health.

  2. Don’t Throw Them in the Deep End: It’s tempting to push your child to face their fears head-on, but for anxious kids, this can be overwhelming. It’s important to take things slow and gradually expose them to situations that make them anxious, rather than throwing them in at the deep end.

  3. Avoid Timers: Time limits can add extra pressure to anxious children, so it’s best to avoid using timers or any kind of countdown to complete tasks.

  4. Make Things Fun: Rather than setting a time limit, try to make tasks fun and engaging for your child. Avoid competitive language or comments that may put pressure on them.

  5. Address Their Fears: When your child is avoiding a social situation, don’t just tell them about all the fun they’ll miss out on. Instead, help them address their fears by providing them with tools and strategies to manage their anxiety in those situations.

  6. Avoid Food Battles: Picky eating is common among anxious children, and forcing them to eat new foods can be counterproductive. Instead, encourage them to try new things without making mealtimes a battleground.

  7. Don’t Punish Toileting Issues: Potty training can be a challenge for anxious children, but shaming, blaming, or punishing them for accidents or delays can make the situation worse. Address the underlying fear, rather than the behaviour.

  8. Use Positive Reinforcement: Instead of using scare tactics, try to focus on more positive statements that encourage good behaviour. For example, brush your teeth so they’re sparkly clean, or hold my hand so I can keep you safe.

  9. Avoid All-or-Nothing Responses: Anxious kids can struggle with the concept of “no,” so it’s important to avoid using all-or-nothing responses. Instead, try to provide them with options and alternatives to help them feel more in control.

Parenting an anxious child can be a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. By avoiding the nine things we’ve discussed in this blog post and implementing the tips and strategies we’ve suggested, you can better support your child’s mental health and help them thrive.

Kolkata Child Psychiatrist

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to proceed, remember that professional help is available. Dr Sagnik Mukherjee, the best child psychiatrist in Kolkata, is available to help you develop a treatment plan that works for your child’s specific needs. Don’t hesitate to call me at 098313 13020 to schedule an appointment and start getting your family back on track today. With effective treatments and support, your child can learn to manage their anxiety and enjoy a better quality of life.

Dr Sagnik Mukherje_Photo

Dr. Sagnik Mukherjee (MBBS; MD; MIPS; MIAPP) is a professional consultant psychiatrist in Kolkata. He is experienced and has been practising psychiatry for the last 10 years. Dr. Sagnik is one of the most trusted mental health doctors. His areas of interest are adult psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, child psychiatry, depression, anxiety, and relationship issues He has been invited to speak on social issues on TV numerous times. He accepts every patient, providing them adequate time and helping them overcome challenges. He offers excellent psychiatric service and expert guidance related to mental health. Dr. Sagnik offers solutions without any side effects. The patient will be able to receive effective therapy within a short period of time.