How Do I Raise a Child Who Experiences Anxiety?

12 April, 2019
Q How Do I Raise a Child Who Experience Anxiety?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Don’t push your child to do things that cause anxiety, such as demand the child play in a group or ride a bike if it causes anxiety.

•Offering positive reinforcements for gradual expose to the things which cause your child anxiety.

•Encourage your child to talk about what she/he is feeling; reinforce the positive qualities and abilities your child has.

•As well as teach your child coping techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, encourage dhzikr during stressful moments as well as Qur’an recitation.

•Continue to build up your child’s self-esteem and confidence as well as coping skills. You may want to take a class on Anxiety to help you learn more about it as well.


As- salamu alaykum, 

While you did not say how old the child was or if there had been any trauma in his/her life, or what the symptoms are, I would kindly suggest that if the symptoms are interfering with the child’s ability to function at school, home or social settings, that you speak with your child’s pediatrician about getting a psychological consult.

For a child who is mildly anxious, I would suggest insha’Allah that you encourage your child to talk about what she/he is feeling; reinforce the positive qualities and abilities your child has, as well as teach your child coping techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, encourage dhzikr during stressful moments as well as Qur’an recitation.

I would also kindly suggest that you don’t push your child to do things that cause anxiety, such as demand the child play in a group or ride a bike if it causes anxiety. I would suggest, however, offering positive reinforcements for gradual expose to the things which cause your child anxiety.


Check out this counseling answer:


For instance, if riding a bike causes anxious reactions, you might tell your child that if he/she rides the bike for 3 minutes, you will go out for ice cream. This is not only a goal the child can strive for, but it is a very short time he/she will have to experience discomfort.

In time, you can build upon the minutes (and switching up the rewards) until insha’Allah the anxiety vanishes with exposure and time. This gradual exposure method can be used successfully with most fears or anxieties. Continue to build up your child’s self-esteem and confidence as well as coping skills. You may want to take a class on Anxiety to help you learn more about it as well.

In general, anxious children need a safe, loving, and in some cases, a quiet home environment. Often timeslots of noise, stress and upsets will trigger the anxiety. I would kindly suggest evaluating your child’s home and school environment for stressful factors. Often times young children will outgrow anxiety, but if your child does not, or if it worsens please consult a child therapist. You and your child are in our prayers.

And Allah knows best.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.