Growing up involves lots of challenges, so it’s natural to feel worried, scared or anxious from time to time. There can be many reasons for these feelings.
You can help by letting your child know it’s OK to talk about their mental health.
Your child may worry about events such as exams, or big life changes like a new school or moving house. This is natural and will often resolve as your child gets used to the ‘new normal’. If your child has a learning disability or autism, they may worry more than other children their age, and adjusting to change can take longer.
For some children and young people, worry is present more often and impacts their everyday life. If someone has an anxiety disorder, this means they feel anxious most of the time. It can affect eating, sleeping and their ability to go to school. They may miss out on activities.
Over time, your child can develop tools to manage these feelings. But if anxious feelings are affecting their everyday life, it may also help to find some extra support.
Get into the habit of chatting about how things are going every day, not just talking when something is wrong. Older children and teens won’t always feel like sharing. Respect their space and let them know you’re there if they need you.
Your child may want to confide in their peers or another adult, rather than you. That’s often the case as children grow.
Show your child it’s OK to talk about feelings. Tell them how you feel and what you’re going to do to manage your emotions. Speak about how to release positive or difficult feelings, maybe through music or walks outside.
Suggest activities to help them manage anxious feelings. Make sure you introduce these when your child or teen is in a calm place, rather than in crisis.
We also have advice for helping your child with separation anxiety.
You can get extra support for you and your child:
Want more support? For advice on your specific issue, speak to one of our parenting coaches.
We take your safety and privacy seriously
You don’t have to share your details with us – there are lots of reasons why you might want to remain anonymous, which we will respect. All calls are confidential, and we will always seek your agreement before we share any of your details with other organisations. The only time we will share information without your consent is if we think there is a life-threatening situation, or if you or someone else might be at risk of significant harm. On these occasions we may need to contact the Police, Ambulance Service or Children’s Social Care.
We also share anonymised data with the commissioners of this service. By using Parent Talk, you understand and give your explicit consent to this.
Your email address will not be used for any reason beyond giving you parenting information, support and advice.