We covered how childhood anxiety is a significant and growing concern, and we’ve also reported on items from National Public Radio’s (NPR) Life Kit, created in partnership with Sesame Workshop. Recently, NPR and Sesame Workshop added an article on how to help your child when they are struggling with anxiety. The story is also available as a 24-minute podcast.

The article notes that one in five children will experience clinical-level anxiety by the time they become teenagers. For most, that anxiety will pass, but for some it will, especially if they don’t get help. The article provides six key things that parents should know about helping their child deal with anxiety.

  1. Anxiety is a fear of the future and all its unpredictability.
  2. Be on the lookout for the physical signs of anxiety (e.g., stomach ache, headache, or vomiting).
  3. Before you try to reason with a panicked child, help the child relax. NPR and Sesame Workshop created a video featuring Cookie Monster to demonstrate this process.
  4. Validate your child’s fear.
  5. Help your child face their fears.
  6. Build confidence with a baby-step plan.

The article and podcast go into each of these items in much more detail. It also notes that if you ever feel overwhelmed by your child’s anxiety, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help from your child’s doctor or your family’s doctor.