Does your child constantly worry? Do they worry about worrying? One in 10 children aged six to 11 now meet the criteria for diagnosable anxiety. Eight year olds are vomiting with Naplan stress. Children as young as 10 are self harming. Aussie kids are increasingly not attending birthday parties, class excursions or participating in after school activities due to overwhelming and unrelenting worry.
While stress is a normal human emotion experienced by all ages and we don’t want to pathologise it, the impact on families with children suffering with severe stress is debilitating. Anxiety is more than your child thoughts. It is how your child thinks, feels and behaves and can thus impact the entire family dynamics.
How do I know what normal worry is? Every individual child is different. Some general questions to consider are:
Is your child unable to stop or control worrying?
Is your child experiencing feelings that are consistently very intense and severe?
Is your child so distressed that the feelings and behaviours are interfering with their learning, socialising and ability to do everyday things?
Is your child constantly restless, having difficulty relaxing?
Do they often feel as though something awful might happen?
Also consider the duration of the worry. Is it rare? Several days a week? More than half the days a week? Nearly every day?
No, they won’t just grow out of it. Those who have behavioural or emotional issues as kids, have a 60% demonstrated increase of experiencing mental health issues as adults.
Childhood provides an excellent opportunity to break the cycle of anxiety. If you suspect your child’s worry is escalating or it is affecting their schooling, socialising and ability to do everyday things, don’t hesitate to find someone to help your child. Prevention and intervention are key.
Art therapy has a powerful role in helping children and teens explore their worry. Sometimes children simply do not have words but when given art materials in a therapeutic space, thoughts and feelings come tumbling out onto the paper or into the clay. From there we can equip them for resiliency that lasts a lifetime.
The great news is that I’m just about to release my anxiety busting workshops for children and teens and want my blog readers to have VIP access. This is your chance to rebook a place for your child or teen even before it is officially released.
Contact me here to go on the mailing list to be offered the first places, as bookings are strictly limited. These small group resiliency workshops have a limit of 8 participants. It is possible to live a life of resilient strength, courage and freedom from anxiety.
Little Miss Brave (Girls aged 5-8 years)
Kick Anxiety in the Butt (Tween girls aged 9-13)
Knights of the Round Table (Boys aged 9-13 years)