In the past, there was a persistent belief that childhood and adulthood are two completely different stages in life. The belief was few of the personality traits you have as a child carry over as an adult, and that while it's important to address your child's happiness and health, you don't necessarily have to be concerned with smaller personality traits because those will eventually fade away.

We now know this is no longer true. How a child acts or feels in their youth is very much related to who they are as an adult. One of the most important examples of this is with childhood anxiety. As many as 50% or more of all children that suffer from childhood anxiety will suffer from adult anxiety as well, and countless more will miss out on skills and life experiences that could help them adapt to adulthood as they get older.

Childhood anxiety is no longer an issue that parents should hope their children grow out of. Rather, it is an issue that needs to be addressed early and often, with the hopes that as the child ages that additional support helps turn them into a more psychologically healthy adult.

Childhood Anxiety Tips for Parents

You can and should always consider taking a child to see a counselor if you can afford it. There is no substitute for professional help, and while great parenting will go a long way, a child that is really suffering can always benefit from outside support. Still, here are several tricks you can use to try to cut down your child's anxiety beyond professional help.

• Have Dedicated Alone Time

This is especially important if your child has a sibling. Many parents these days don't spend enough time sitting down and talking to their children. It's not just about talking about problems or why your child is anxious. You should also be boosting their self-esteem, reminding them how much you love them, asking them if they want to talk about anything, and so on. At least 10 dedicated minutes every day can have a fairly profound effect on your child's upbringing.

• Culturally Relevant Activities

Another interesting strategy is to help your child engage in culturally relevant activities, like watching sports/the super bowl, going to popular movies, etc. At such a young age, a child's anxiety is often reinforced by their ability to bond with their peers. If they're not aware of something culturally relevant, they may fail when trying to engage in a conversation and their anxiety feels warranted. On the other hand, if they're aware of culturally relevant topics, they should have an easier time bonding with others.


It shouldn't need explaining, but exercise is extremely important – especially for children. Some anxiety is simply caused by misplaced energy due to the sedentary lifestyle most kids live these days. Taking your child out for exercise or signing them up for sports is very important, and the activity itself have a number of benefits for reducing your child's anxiety symptoms.

• Avoid Anxiety-Producing Events

When we talk about the little things you can do to reduce your child's anxiety, we're talking about the littlest of little things. For example, children that suffer from serious anxiety should probably avoid any and all scary movies, as these can increase the child's feelings of anxiousness during their everyday life. All of the little events that are harmless to those with effective coping strategies can accumulate anxiety and depression in children that are already suffering from symptoms.

• Create Coping Mechanisms

Finally, one of the issues with childhood anxiety is that so much of it is self-fulfilling. An example would be when the anxious child tries to reach out and socialize only to find they don't have strong social skills and experience severe anxiety, and when they ultimately struggle in their conversation the anxiety feels justifiable, making them more likely to experience it again in the future. Find creative coping mechanisms like positivity journals, relaxation techniques (deep breathing, etc.), and art to see if there is an outlet that makes those events less stressful.

As a parent, it's important you work to combat your child's anxiety before it leads to something worse as an adult. But it's not just in the big things that you do, like sending your child to an expert. Often it's the little things that make a big difference in your child's ability to overcome it.

Author's Bio: 

Ryan Rivera is provides outreach to those with anxiety and looks to educate families on anxiety and panic attacks at