How To Manage Childhood Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal part of childhood and growing up, and it’s safe to say everyone experiences some level of anxiety through their lifetime. For a certain number of people, though, childhood anxiety may turn into teen and adult anxiety. In fact, we all probably know an adult whom we think of as a chronic “worry wart,” but does that meant they’re affected by anxiety?

As parents, learning how to manage childhood anxiety can be beneficial both for your children and the adults they will become.

Request an Appointment          See Our Locations

Anxiety Can Be Positive

Positive or normal anxiety protects us from danger and can help us reach goals. It feels uncomfortable, but it’s temporary and will gradually go away. The heightened anxiety a child feels before a test at school or an adult experiences before a job interview can either drive us to do our best or cause us to fail miserably. Learning how to manage anxiety for life is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.

Normal Worry

Childhood should be a carefree and happy time for kids, but unfortunately, for many kids their life is full of worry and fear. If a child becomes fearful or anxious after watching a scary movie, that’s quite normal and usually is forgotten in a day or two. Being afraid of the dark, of strangers, or being separated from parents are mostly normal behaviors for young children.

Conversely, when a youngster is fearful of social events, school, getting on the bus, or just going outside their house, this is a more serious situation, and parents would be wise to take note.

Thinking they will “grow out of it,” or it’s “just a phase” might work for a while, but unless parents intervene and address their child’s fears. they may never be able to provide their child with the skills needed to deal with life’s challenges.

Tips To Help Parents Manage Childhood Anxiety

Try the following suggestions if your child seems overly anxious:

  • Explain to your child that everyone gets worried sometimes, and it’s a normal feeling.
  • Remain calm and avoid anger when your child is anxious.
  • For young children, create a worry box and  a “worry time.” Take 15 minutes each day and have your child write down what they are worried about today. Then throw them in the box and close the lid. Eventually there will be less and less things to write down.
  • For younger children, make up a character. Give that character a name like Wally the Worrier and have your child talk to Wally and explain why he shouldn’t be so worried.
  • Reward brave behavior and respond with praise.
  • Model the calm behavior you want from your child. Talk slowly, make eye contact, and reassure them everything is OK.

When To Seek Help

When your child worries all the time, constantly ponders about what might happen, has headaches and stomach ailments, and gradually shows a decline in grades, it may be time to seek the help of a professional. Your child may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. This can affect all phases of a child’s day to day life: eating, sleeping, and concentration in school.

Depression, eating disorders, and suicide rates are increasing and many believe these problems begin with anxiety disorders.

If you think your child is experiencing a high level of stress and anxiety, see your physician at PediatriCare of Northern Virginia for an evaluation and advice.


COVID-19 Update : How We Keep YOU Safe

We have always been committed to ensuring your child’s health and well-being regardless of what the world throws at us as a “village” Exceptional circumstances require innovative processes to keep your family safe. It’s our commitment to you and our community. Here’s how we honor that commitment

Schedule your appt, tell us you want curbside check in. Let us do the navigation for you. Let us know you are here, proceed into the building to our suite and you will be met by a staff member upon arrival and immediately escorted to your personal exam room in our office bypassing the normal check in process. Our families love it!

Schedule a visit

****Video Appointments****
No apps to down load, No special processes that make life difficult and it’s HIPAA complaint and easy to schedule. We would love to tell you more. It’s a fantastic way to have your child’s health concerns addressed in the privacy of your home.

Learn about telehealth

****Split Schedule****
Well checks ONLY in the morning bright and early is the perfect time to make sure your child is getting the preventative care they need!

Schedule your child’s well check

****Reduced traffic flow in the common areas of the building and our office****
Several practices in the building have consolidated locations out of our building which means there is a significant decrease in activity in the hallways. The Fitness Center is also closed! People are practicing strict social distancing too. Plenty of parking, non crowded hallways and elevators where people don’t jump in with one another. It’s a win/win.

****We take care of ourselves so we can care for you****
We have always followed scientifically established protocols to ensure that our facility is clean and our staff is healthy, now more than ever, rest assured that our processes for infection control are superior and our commitment to minimizing risk is unwavering. We are happy to report that the entire staff has remained healthy during this pandemic because of the exceptional commitment we have, as part of your village, to adhering to CDC guidelines both at work and during our time off.

We miss you, we miss the kids and we are ALWAYS here for you and committed to keeping you safe.