Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about the anxiety so many kids were facing as they started back to school. It’s no surprise to any of you, if you’ve read our blog before, how concerned we are about the prevalence of anxiety today among kids. Fifteen years ago, we were only seeing a handful of kids with anxiety in our counseling offices. Today, a majority of our sessions with school-age kids and their parents are over this very issue. It’s considered the most common form of “mental illness” among children. It’s also the most treatable. And, as you may have noticed, we put quotes around mental illness. It is considered that, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as well as a host of other professional organizations. But, for so many of us, the words mental illness come with a certain stigma…whereas the little ones we love do not.
Your child may be anxious about going to school. Or sleeping over. Or dogs. Or anything else that can cause those of us who are a little more grown up anxiety, too. In fact, our anxiety is often related to theirs. If you’re concerned about your child’s anxiety, or your own, this website can help.
They even have an anxiety screening on their website to help you determine if your child (or you) might need a little extra support. If you do, call your local church for resources. You can also check out the American Association of Christian Counselors website. But we would recommend meeting the counselor in person before you send your child. We tell parents, on a daily basis, that when you or I go to counseling, we’re wanting to get to work for our own sakes. Kids typically don’t share our same motivation. The counselor your child sees needs to be one you feel like your child will warm up to…someone you know they would be able to feel safe with and learn to trust. Anxiety is highly treatable, in the hands of the right person…and obviously you, as a parent. Your child needs to know you’re not only with them in it, but you’re strong and safe enough yourself to help them work through it.