- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Parenting a child with an anxiety disorder can be tough. This is not a fear of riding the roller coaster at the amusement park or a dread of the first day of school. It is an all-out terror of life events that cripples a child who otherwise might be enjoying normal activities and challenges. Parents can struggle with guilt over why the child is anxious, can deal with their own reactions to a child’s “unreasonable” panic attacks and may despair over increasing family discord caused by the disorder. That is why the first step in helping a child cope with anxiety may be to help the parent cope with the child. Here are five online resources for parents of children who struggle with anxiety.
This website discusses normal fears and offers a checklist of “red flags” that might alert parents to a problem or reassure them about their child’s behavior. It also has opportunities for parenting workshops and trainings offered in person at certain locations or with an online option. There are videos of actual case conferences showing parents how techniques are used in real life and how therapists interact with child patients. The site also includes a message board that provides a community for parents to connect, voice concerns and offer suggestions to one another.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Often, the hardest part of dealing with an issue is uncertainty. This site features the Anxiety Disorders Resource Center that educates people about anxiety and its causes and effects. There is also an FAQ section including facts for families, video clips, helpful apps and more.
This website addresses the concerns of parents while offering kids the opportunity to play video games that teach skills like self-calming. The games allow kids to visualize their emotions and defeat them. The games get stronger as the emotions get higher. They also teach children to lower their own anxiety levels when confronted with anxiety through techniques like deep-breathing and bio-feedback. The approach of the Get Mighty system is through the families. There is a Parent Hub that features coaching sessions with actual clinicians, webinars, weekly resource tips and the opportunity to see how their children are progressing with the skills taught in the games.
This is an online training program for parents of children with anxiety disorders. It includes a symptom checker for parents that could help identify the disorder in their child ( although definitive diagnosis must be done by a therapist). The program contains 10 interactive modules that teach the principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Relaxation Therapy, problem-solving, rewards and consequences and other issues. There is also educational material that may be printed off.
This website has information about how anxiety disorder is diagnosed. It also discusses treatment options. There is a section that offers innovative behavior training ideas for parents such as how to teach accountability. Additionally, there is support in the form of a blog on parenting children with anxiety disorders.
While some of these resources are free, those with extensive resources require registration and/ or charge for their programs. Information about childhood anxiety is available through many websites, but there is some value in the availability of actual interactive material and online communities that discuss ways of dealing with the disorder and offer a place for parents to “vent.” There are many other online resources that, with the input of a therapist, may help a parent teach his child to overcome the crippling effects of Anxiety Disorder.
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