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How do you figure out their underlying anxieties

It is not always easy to be certain of the real reasons for your child's behaviour. Anxieties from one context can lead to upset and meltdowns in another context. For example, something at school can lead to a problem at home and visa versa. Equally anxieties may be hidden deep inside and the child themselves is not aware or able to articulate them. When there is an incident over something quite trivial it can be easy to mis-identify the cause. For example, a child having a meltdown because their sibling ate the last chocolate biscuit, may seem to be a case of jealousy and/or disappointment. However, if your child usually handles these situations well then the reason why they couldn't on this occasion is often something else. Thus working out the underlying cause of anxiety may take some dedicated detective work!

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Strategies:

Keep a diary to record incidents and what triggered it. Over time identify any pattern that may reveal times when your child appears more anxious. You can also use an ABC Behaviour Log as an alternative to a diary.
Rating Scale
Use a rating scale with your child. This can help them to signal their changing emotional state and this in turn reveals the anxiety.
Use simple drawings to create a conversation map when exploring a particular context and event
Use What If cards to record anxieties and solutions
Create a Social Story to describe how to deal with each situation that your child's has anxiety with

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Seek professional advice for dealing with extreme anxieties that interfere with the child's ability to engage in everyday experiences

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You may be interested in the following pages:

Anxiety Management

Anxious Breathing

Emotional Regulation

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