10 helpful resources for child anxiety
Anxiety is a completely normal and expected feeling for people of all ages to experience. But it can often be surprising for parents to see their son or daughter experiencing child anxiety. Most children will be able to cope with typical worries surrounding friendships, school, new events, and chance. However, some children have excessive anxiety that can hold them back from enjoying childhood, and develop into an anxiety disorder (phobias, post traumatic stress, separation anxiety, panic, social anxiety, or OCD).
Whether it is normal anxiety or a diagnosable disorder, the following resources could be incredibly helpful. They can assist with understanding why your child worries, how you can help them, and what skills they can learn to reduce their fears.
Child Anxiety WEBSITES
Anxiety BC is an excellent website full of resources to help people learn and practice effective strategies to manage anxiety on their own, at their own pace. All content is grounded in scientific research and developed by professionals who specialize in helping people with anxiety. They have sections for Adults, Teens, Children, and Parents. And the content includes information, videos, worksheets, and very clear, actionable skills to teach your children.
Coping Cat Parents is another great website. It has evidenced based information and recommendations, symptom checker, and tools from experts in anxiety. Also, you can sign up for “Child Anxiety Tales”. This is an online program for parents who would like to learn how to help their child better manage stress and anxiety.
Worry Wise Kids provides parents, educators and mental health professionals with information on the full range of anxiety disorders. It includes how to identify symptoms, find effective treatments, and prevent anxiety from taking hold in a child’s life.
The Brave Program is an online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) program for children or teens with anxiety and their parents. Any child who worries about things will find the program useful. The program also has a largely preventative and early intervention focus. It teaches children and parents about unhelpful thinking styles, body sensations of anxiety, and tools to cope more effectively and boost self esteem.
I often teach mindfulness to my child clients, and they love it! Children are quite mindful already (being in the moment and noticing whats happening around them), but those with anxiety can get too caught up in their own thoughts and emotions. Helping them ground themselves back into reality and the present is a great way to help their anxieties. This post on 11 simple mindfulness tips for kids is a great first step to give you some ideas!
Child Anxiety APPS
Smiling Mind is meditation made easy. A simple tool that helps put a smile on your mind anytime and anywhere, teaching the important skill of mindfulness to ages 7+. You can track your progress, measure mood and tension levels, and have fun learning to be mindful.
For use with young children (under 5), this simple app teaches kids the skills of problem solving, self-control, planning, and task persistence. The easy to remember slogan of Breathe, Think, Do, can the implemented in your daily life to encourage better emotion regulation and thinking clearly.
This app is great for primary school children, with a range of information, family tasks, games to encourage emotion regulation and clear communication. The Comic Creator allows kids to create their own stories about whats worrying them or on their mind. The Feelings Finder is a fun way to discuss emotions with your child. Also, you can take surveys to learn more about your family’s strengths.
Child Anxiety BOOKS
The book offers proven effective skills based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to aid you in helping your child overcome intense fears and worries. You’ll also find out how to relieve your child’s anxious feelings while parenting with compassion. You can help your child practice “detective thinking” to recognize irrational worries. Also, learn what to do when your child becomes frightened, how to gently and gradually expose your child to challenging situations, and help your child learn important social skills.
This is an excellent interactive book written for children by a Clinical Psychologist. It is designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change.
Do you have any other great resources for child anxiety?