May 28, 2024
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Guidelines: How Do You Know if Your Child is Experiencing Anxiety?

Physical symptoms:

1. Loss of appetite

2. Overeating

3. Indigestion.

4. Vomiting

5. Sleep disturbances, nightmares, night terrors.

Emotional and Behavioral Reactions:

1. Generalized fear (darkness, strangers, “monsters”)

2. Regressive symptoms (thumb sucking, bedwetting, immature speech)

3. Appears helpless and passive

4. Repetitive talking about experience

5. Short attention span

6. Irritability

7. Overactive

8. Exhibits anxious attachments, such as clinging, not wanting to be away from parents

9. Demonstrates cognitive confusion (does not understand that the danger is over)

10. Develops anxieties related to incomplete understanding of the finality of death; fantasizes about repairing the situation

How to respond:

· Find times when they are most likely to talk: such as when riding in the car, before dinner, or at bedtime.

· Start the conversation; let them know you are interested in them; in and how they are coping with the information they are getting.

· Listen to their thoughts and point of view; don’t interrupt — allow them to express their ideas and understanding before you respond.

· Express your own opinions and feelings without putting down theirs; acknowledge that it is okay to disagree.

· Remind them you are there for them to provide safety, comfort and support.

· Give them a hug.

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