Know the signs of anxiety disorder in your child or teen
- Recognize and praise your child’s small accomplishments and help build a strong support network.
- Anxiety is a normal part of adolescence; however, teens diagnosed with an anxiety disorder experience more ongoing symptoms. Effective and consistent parenting helps your child or teen feel less anxious. Building a positive support network helps, too.
- Don’t punish mistakes or lack of progress.
- Building a teen’s self-esteem is always important, but for children with anxiety, building interpersonal strength is necessary. If your child shows confidence in any activity, encourage involvement and praise frequently.
- A normal routine but flexible routine is necessary. Modify expectations during any high-stress periods.
- Be consistent but flexible when needed to help your child be more comfortable with change. Have transparent conversations allowing discussion and feedback so the teen feels empowered.
Source: Bethany Kassar, licensed clinical social worker and executive director of outpatient services at Summit Behavioral Health. Used with permission.