Parenting an Anxious Child: Build a Toolbox of Strategies Through Family Group Therapy
Parenting an anxious child comes with its own unique set of challenges.
As you may know, being the parent of an overly anxious tween/teen can feel a lot like running the gauntlet. From all angles, you may face unexpected issues—obsessive worrying, anxiety-related illnesses, social problems, etc.
However, each distinct problem has an unmistakable solution.
When it comes to successfully parenting an anxious child, the solution is often found in family group therapy. The key to effectively supporting your child and the entire family is to take a strategic approach—as a family.
Here’s how family group therapy can help your entire crew build a toolbox of strategies.
Helps to Manage Anxiety in All Family Members
Often, anxiety therapy for your tween/teen undoubtedly helps them. However, anxiety frequently feeds off of specific elements in an environment. Things like rushing the morning routine, engaging in emotionally charged conversations, or even not establishing a schedule can harm your family’s well-being.
Specifically, these seemingly innocuous rituals can serve as triggers to your child. Mostly, because they’re infused with anxiety as well. After all, high-functioning anxiety runs rampant amongst adults. Participating in group therapy may help to pinpoint your own anxious tendencies, too.
Unlike other forms of therapy, family group therapy approaches your child’s anxiety as a family issue. Together, you will strive to understand anxiety and join forces to manage it.
Assists in Identifying Household Triggers
As mentioned before, emotional triggers come in all forms. Parenting an anxious child, then, means taking the time to understand your child’s triggers.
Family group therapy will give you the opportunity to get to know what sets your tween/teen off. Furthermore, it allows families to learn more about one another, creating a valuable closeness.
Many emotions can mask as anxiety. But group therapy can help to identify these emotions and their triggers. For instance, perhaps your child’s outbursts in the morning are a facade for the anxiety they feel during the morning rush. Family group therapy will uncover triggers such as this.
Offers a Safe Space to Practice Calming Techniques
Group therapy is well known for providing a safe space to practice new techniques and skills. Rather than “trying them out” in real life, your entire family can practice during the group session.
Fumbling allowed, your tween/teen—as well as each family member—can feel encouraged and empowered to be calmer on a daily basis simply by the practice sessions. In fact, your entire family will learn these new skills and can encourage each other as real-life situations arise.
Anxiety often flies under the radar in families because it’s simply so prevalent in our culture. However, identifying symptoms and triggers uncovers the mask of anxiety. Plus, family group therapy helps to normalize newly learned coping techniques.
Reinforces Family Love and Support
In today’s modern world, families can sit together in one room and be miles apart (most likely plugged-in). The intimate connectivity is slipping through our fingertips. And the online world does nothing to help manage anxiety.
So, when an entire family commits to family group therapy in support of a member struggling with anxiety, it’s monumental and rebuilds real connection. Speaking volumes, the mere presence of a parent can be the most uplifting part of family group therapy.
Parenting an anxious child can indeed be challenging. Yet, with the right set of skills, your entire family can become more adept to identifying anxiety triggers and handling whatever comes their way.
If you’re ready to learn more about family group therapy specifically geared for tweens/teens (and parents), please visit here. Or contact me to schedule a consultation today.