Ideas for Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety

Anxiety is not just an issue that impacts adults—it’s also often experienced by school-age children.

There are different kinds of anxiety disorders that can affect children and teens: generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, specific phobia and selective mutism. Fortunately, there are ways we can help our children cope with or overcome anxiety.

It’s important to remember anxiety can stem from many different things, like genetics, brain chemistry, life situations and learn behaviors, so it’s always wise to reach out to a trained professional for a definitive diagnosis and advice for addressing your child’s situation.

Common Signs of Anxiety in Children

While some signs of anxiety may not be easily picked up on, there are plenty that can be quickly identified.

Some of common signs of anxiety in children include:

  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Inattention (poor focus)
  • Somatic symptoms like headaches or stomach aches
  • Avoidance
  • Tantrums
  • Crying
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Emotional meltdowns
  • Difficulties with transitions within school and between school and an activity
  • Difficulty settling down for bed
  • Having excessively high expectations for school work, homework and extracurricular performance

How You Can Help

One of the first things you should consider doing is taking your child to talk with a trained and reputable therapist. He or she will be able to talk and listen to what your child says and will know the best way to handle the various aspects of anxiety and anxiety disorders.

There are also many ways you can help your child outside of seeking professional help.  You can work to anticipate situations that may cause anxiety for your child, and may find that gradually exposing your child to the cause of his or her anxiety can help ease the situation. Unfortunately, avoiding anxiety-causing situations is usually not the long-term answer.

Be sure you are not downplaying your child’s anxiety and be self-aware about how you’re reacting to it. You mean well, but there could be a circumstance where your reaction is still making things worse for your child. Don’t forget to also make sure that your own needs are met, as your anxiety level could be impacting that of your child’s.

Some other suggestions to help kids cope with anxiety are:

  • Practicing relaxation strategies such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation
  • Having them write down their worries and anxious feelings
  • Teaching them to “talk back” to anxious thoughts, which ultimately helps give them control over the situation

At Drama Kids, we welcome children with various anxiety disorders.  In fact – our classes and programs are designed to offer ALL kids great benefits, including helping kids who are experiencing anxiety overcome their fears and anxieties and “come out of their shells”.  Shy, introverted children soon gain in confidence and are able to express themselves more fluently.  They learn to relax and interact more easily with other people, thus paving the way to a happier, more fulfilling life.  Energetic extroverts learn the importance of being able to focus their energy and enthusiasm into controlled situations and so produce worthwhile results. 

For more information, visit our website at www.dramakids.com/online-drama-courses

Keeping Our Kids Safe in This Digital Age

From smartphones and tablets to video game consoles and smart TVs, there is no shortage of technology these days. And with that increased access to technology comes an increased risk of danger, especially to our kids.

There are many dangers out there in the digital world that we must work to protect our children from, but fortunately, educating them about safe technology practices doesn’t have to be difficult!

Digital Danger

It can seem like a new online threat pops up in the news almost weekly, but it’s important to sort out which ones pose the greatest risk to our children.

Some of the threats that we should be extremely cautious of include:

Cyberbullying. It’s estimated that 43% of kids have been bullied online, with one in four having it happen more than once. Even more alarming is that only one in 10 kids will inform a parent or trusted adult if they are a victim of cyberbullying.

Cyberpredators. These predators can be found lurking online, on social media or game sites, and are waiting to prey on a child’s innocence. You can use these tips from the FBI to help teach your kids safe online practices, but also, be sure you’re talking to them about what is going on in their lives to help detect potential problems.

Posting private information. Our children don’t always understand social boundaries and may not realize that posting personal information on public sites can give out too much information to the wrong people. Make sure your children’s profiles are all set to private and remind them that if you can see it, others can too.

Phishing, scams & accidentally downloading malware. It’s always wise to educate a child on the dangers presented by unknown email addresses and downloading from sketchy sites.

Posting something that can come back to haunt them later. It has become commonplace to see celebrities, politicians and other public figures suffer the consequences of ill-humored and offensive jokes/content on their social media pages. Be sure to discuss smart posting practices with your child, and stress the importance of remembering that once something has been posted online, it can always be found again.

Ways to Protect Your Child

They may be living in a digital world, but there are still ways we as parents can help protect our children when they’re online.

Start healthy tech habits from a young age by setting limits for screen time and ensuring that your child isn’t alone while online. It is always wise to know who your child’s online friends are, and be sure you are modeling the same safe tech practices you are preaching.

Most importantly, never forget the value of face-to-face communication!

Drama Kids International is here to help children learn and establish valuable communication techniques through drama.