I’ve yet to find a comprehensive how-to manual that tells exactly how to best parent a child with anxiety. If there were one, I would have bought it and read it cover to cover. Instead, I’ve likely been learning my lessons the same way that you’ve been learning yours. I’ve learned them in the trenches while doing the messy, beautiful work of parenting a child with anxiety. If you’re reading this article, I assume the same is true for you.
Just like you, my heart has ached as I’ve watched my child struggle with anxiety. I’ve felt unprepared and ill equipped. I’ve wondered if I’m doing too much to be helpful or not enough. I’ve felt overwhelmed at the challenges, not because my child is difficult, but because it is difficult to understand just how deep, how debilitating, and how intense anxiety can be if it isn’t something you’ve experienced first-hand.
I can’t say that I have all of the answers, because I don’t. Not even close. But, I am the parent of an amazing son who has taught me much about loving and parenting an anxious child. Our journey together has given me a lot of insight into the heart and mind of a child with anxiety.
Just understanding our anxious children can make a big difference in our parenting, in their lives, and in our relationship with them. It can help us be more empathetic, more compassionate, and more understanding.
I’ve listed 15 things that I try to remember about my child and about my role as a parent when we are in the throes of severe anxiety. These may not be true for every child, but they are little tid bits of wisdom that I wish I had understood sooner about my anxious child and what I can do to help him. My hope is that they can help you understand your anxious child better and will equip you to better help your own anxious child.
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