A Mother’s Guide to Handling Childhood Anxiety

A Mother’s Guide to Handling Childhood Anxiety begins with an understanding of a new approach to helping sufferers deal with their anxiety. It’s called exposure therapy and works like this: Instead of avoiding anxiety-producing situations—performing at a recital, giving a report in front of the class, talking to adults—children are taught to manage anxiety.

So, instead of not performing at the recital or just riding out the anxious feelings, a child would choose a very short piece and also have backup plans for “temporary escape” (going to the bathroom before it’s his turn to take the stage, stepping outside to breathe deeply, etc.).

Then the next time the child has a recital, they would choose a longer piece. Having these strategies allows the child to feel empowered to deal with his anxiety triggers, rather than let them control him. So in this sense, the research suggests that children overcome their anxiety best when they work through it themselves {Tweet This} using this type of exposure method.

There are other approaches to helping your child deal with anxiety, and we cover some of them here in a Mother’s Guide to Handling Childhood Anxiety:

We’d love to hear how you’ve handled anxiety in your children.

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In The Comments

What makes your children anxious and how do you help them?


  • Hollie

    I clicked on the link for the 12 common signs to look for and it sent me to Pillow Talk Questions. I would love to have that information. Thanks!!!

    • We fixed it! Thanks for the heads up.

      • Hollie

        Thank you!

  • Shannon Hunter

    Thank you so much for this article! As a child I suffered from anxiety, and still do sometimes as an adult. I have been looking for ways to help my daughter deal with her anxiety and this looks right on track! Are there any book recommendations for children with anxiety?

  • Shannon Hunter

    Thanks so much!!!!

  • KH

    Thanks for this article. It was timely with my daughter. I also appreciate the book recs!

  • Tracy

    Both my kids have suffered with anxiety since they were little. My son is highly sensitive, so for him I’ve helped him learn to manage his environment (knowing what his day is going to look like, easing transitions, talking through different “what ifs” A LOT) and guided him to do things that stretch his comfort zone. He’s 14 now, and while he still has days that he worries and feels overwhelmed, he’s doing great. My daughter has been harder to help, mostly because she doesn’t like talking about her feelings. She’s 11 & can still have pretty bad temper tantrums which are mostly due to anxiety. They are getting less frequent, however. I’ve just stayed the course at talking through things, giving her different tools on how to handle situations and because she’s very tactile, using massage and other touch therapy. I suffer from anxiety myself, so I talk about it a lot with my kids and model how I’m taking care of myself.