Having a child with anxiety is not only challenging for the child but also difficult for the parents. No parent wants to experience their little one suffering. While OTC anxiety meds can help with mild to moderate anxiety, it is often best for little ones to speak to a licensed therapist. Professionals can help children and parents determine triggers and define healthy coping strategies. As a parent, you can do five things to help your anxious child.
1. Educate Them About Anxiety
When little ones have anxiety, they may not understand it on a chemical or psychological level. To a child, they only know that they are afraid or uncomfortable.
Understanding the condition provides some level of agency over it. Suppose a child understands that anxiety is not a response to genuine danger but rather the body’s misguided response to overstimulation. In that case, they may not have as much difficulty breathing through an attack.
2. Foster Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Many parents do not want to see their children frightened or uncomfortable, which can lead to coddling. People with anxiety must learn how to cope with anxiety triggers in order to live a healthy and productive life. Unfortunately, some parents choose to help their children avoid triggers rather than face them.
For example, if darkness is an anxiety trigger for a child, the parent may choose to keep lights on all the time. While there is nothing inherently wrong with night lights or keeping lights on, children never learn to embrace the dark. A better option is to work with your child. Sit with them in the dark and talk through their emotions. Help them rationalize the reality.
Anxiety medications can help in facing fears and anxiety triggers, but you want to pay attention to possible Brillia medication side effects or any OTC complication. Medications are a tool, not a crutch.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing and other mindfulness exercise are excellent nonmedicinal treatments for anxiety attacks. By controlling your breathing, you help slow down the body’s panic responses. Deep, slow, and controlled breaths can help convince the brain that nothing is wrong and you are safe. Children will likely need help or guidance through breathing exercises, but as they are simple, it shouldn’t take kids long to get the hang of them.
Sometimes, anxiety results from too much stress and pent-up nervous energy. Parents can help their little ones by ensuring they get plenty of exercise and outdoor time daily. Kids should spend at least 30 minutes daily at active play, meaning running around with family or friends.
5. Challenge Their Thought Process
Anxiety and ADHD symptoms in 5-year-old kids often leave them feeling powerless. Parents can help children deal with anxiety by showing them they control their bodies. When your little one has an anxiety attack, have them focus on things they can control, like breathing, moving, and talking. The activities serve as a distraction and reassurance that they have some power.
If your little one has anxiety, you can try the above strategies to help them manage and cope. You can also contact a local pharmacist or doctor to discuss possible OTC medications or treatments.