What to do if your child experiences Anxiety: Track, Find Pattern, Strategize

Written and Reviewed by Julie Rawe and Glen Elliot, MD, PhD

An anxiety log can help you spot patterns in your child’s behavior. And that can make it easier to find strategies that help your child feel less anxious.

Tracking signs of anxiety in your young child or signs of anxiety in your tween or teen can also help you figure out if what you’re seeing is typical anxiety or an anxiety problem.

This anxiety log, created by Understood and CHC, has three pages. Each one includes a filled-out sample. Try using them in this order:

  1. Anxiety tracker. Use the tracker to take notes on when and where your child gets anxious. Think of it as an organized diary.
  2. Anxiety pattern finder. This can help you spot trends based on what you logged in the anxiety tracker. Two to three weeks of entries may be enough to help you find patterns and start looking for ways to ease your child’s anxiety.
  3. Calming strategies worksheet. This worksheet can help you think about what works best for your child. Does your child need to be near you to calm down? Or is it better to have quiet time alone? Your child may have helpful insights, so look for a calm moment to brainstorm together. Filling it out can also help you get ready to talk with your child’s teacher or doctor, if need be.

Keep in mind that all kids feel anxious from time to time. But kids who learn and think differently are more likely to have anxiety. If your child’s anxiety is interfering with everyday life, reach out to your health-care provider. Together you can come up with a plan for reducing your child’s anxiety.

Download the sample Tracker, Pattern Finder and Calm-Down Strategies here: https://www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/managing-feelings/stress-anxiety/download-anxiety-log-to-find-out-why-your-child-gets-anxious-or-stressed