What, Me Worry?

August 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

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We all worry at times—some more than others.

“Even children worry,” said Melbourne child psychologist Vicki Panaccione.

If we let worry get out of hand, it leads to anxiety. And that can lead to all sorts of physical ailments.

Panaccione says some people worry all the time. For them, anxiety becomes a way of life. These folks need therapy.

Many people avoid treatment for anxiety disorders because or shame, fear and embarrassment, Panaccione says.

Kids worry, too, often about issues of personal safety and security. They worry their parents will die or a dog will bite them. Older children tend to worry about personal competence and performance.

In this day and age, when children know about wars and AIDS, they sense their world is not as secure as it used to be. Many can’t cope and become anxious.

Dr. Panaccione suggests some ways to help your child with worries:
1) Don’t minimize the worry.
2) Empower them by helping them problem-solve, such as talking about what can be done about the school bully.
3) Provide reassurance. If a hurricane is coming, tell them this is what we’ve done to make our house safe. Or if they worry about their parents dying, reassure them there always will be someone to take care of them.

Don’t say “I’m not going to die.” You don’t know that. But provide reassurance that you are healthy and take good care of yourself.

As published in Florida Today.
Florida Today

© MMVI Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D.

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