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Helping My Child Cope with Anxiety When They Move Out

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The decision to move out might seem like a normal step in life but it’s not always easy, especially for people suffering from anxiety or any other mental illness. Seeking professional assistance can help with anxiety treatment and make the moving process easier for your child. 

We offer solutions for mental health recovery and addiction for adults and adolescents. Here are some suggestions for what can be done if your child is about to, or has already, moved out and is suffering from anxiety. 

1. Understand How Anxiety Affects Young People

Stress is a normal reaction when humans are faced with unfamiliar or dangerous situations. It is common among teenagers due to the numerous challenges facing them, like school or work stress. A feeling of permanence or stability benefits teenagers, but stresses like moving out can accentuate feelings of loneliness, isolation, and fear of the future. 

Understand that moving means they might lose a sense of belonging, friends, and the environments they are used to. They may need extra time to adapt to the new environment and learn different rules.

2. Show Them the Positive Side

As you prepare your child to move out, show them the positive side of what awaits them. It is a chance to live and learn in a new environment, meet new people, and explore new experiences. The change will come with exciting and different opportunities. 

Help them to make a list of all the exciting things they would like to do in their new city or home. You could also accompany them to buy new supplies for their new place, like kitchenware or furniture – all these things can add to the excitement and anticipation of what’s to come.

Children who have gone through life challenges such as academic failure, falling out with friends or negative self-image issues should take this as an opportunity to learn a new setting, make new friends and free themselves from their former constraints. Encourage your child to see the move as a rational step forward, but be careful not to create unrealistic expectations for them. Not everything might be perfect, but they might just flourish with their new sense of independence. 

3. Let Them Express Their Feelings

The first step towards helping a child with anxiety issues to live independently is preparing them for the move in good time; a year earlier would be appropriate. Ask them how they feel about staying on their own. If you realize your loved one is feeling sad about the move, let them know you are ready to help. 

Inform your child that you will do your best to make the transition as smooth as possible. If you are feeling nervous about your son or daughter moving, then try to be involved in the preparations to make yourself feel better – but don’t be overbearing. 

4. Prepare for the Move

Before your child moves, accompany them on a trip to the location they will be moving to. Visit the city for a few hours and explore some of the exciting areas so that they can gain a sense of what awaits them. It will also show them that the new location is not too different from where they are moving from. This will hopefully take away most of the fears. 

Before you make this trip, do enough research about the location so that you only visit the parts that are safe and beneficial. This does not mean hiding the negative sides, but starting with the best places will be a motivating factor. Explore exciting sites like museums and zoos and maybe check out some local restaurants. 

While at it, identify all the sports, festivals, schools, clubs, and classes your child can join. This will drive home that while they might be lonely at first, there are many communities they can join in their new town and is a perfect chance for your child to make new friends. If they know anyone already that lives nearby, encourage your child to invite them for a get-together. Knowing people in a strange place can really impact how your child settles in and makes it their home. 

5. Get Support from Other Family Members

Involving more family members might help your child establish that there will be people to support them once they leave. You can organize a family event before they leave to show support. You could also arrange a family visit to their new home once they’re settled in – maybe after a month or so. Seeing some familiar faces will no doubt perk them up. 

6. Seek Professional Help

If you think that your child needs professional assistance in dealing with this situation, the team at Clear Behavioral Health can help. Our professionals know how to handle anxiety cases to help your child face his/her fears. Anxiety might cause your child to avoid talking to you about their worries. However, they might be willing to speak to a professional, which will ease their anxiety. 

Bottom Line

The best way to help your child manage their anxiety is to let them know that what they are feeling is completely normal and will go away after some time. Help them understand that it shouldn’t worry them too much or stop them from enjoying their life at that moment. After all, anxiety isn’t always a bad situation. It can help them in thinking about the future and how to address some of the problems they might face.

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