Tag Archive | "anxiety attacks"

Anxiety Disorders In Children - How Parents Can Help

Coping up with life’s challenges is not easy. It becomes more difficult when it involves kids. Every child worries now and then, but some are constantly agitated. Anxiety disorders in children places a major wall in their development. The following are tried and tested tips to help parents manage this attack.

Stay Calm

In order to effectively help your toddler, first, you have to be calm. Panicking will only make the problem worse. Yes, it is not easy to stay composed and most parents feel the same way. But, when you keep your cool and not let pressure rule the situation, you are able to think in a clear and sensible manner. Furthermore, you help your toddler relax instead of fueling your toddler’s apprehension by adding your own anxiety. It is essential to set a good example. Do not show fear unless absolutely necessary.

Lend Your Ears

Listening is an important aspect in managing anxiety disorders. So stop being a talker and be a listener. Begin to listen and start a two-way conversation. Children with this disorder naturally want someone who can listen to them express their emotions. Encourage your little one to tell stories and only talk once he is finished. The sense of trust your toddler gains will give him security and this will assist him filter his anxiety attacks in the long run.

Establish Routine and Structure

Provide routines with consistency. Daily habits regulate his anxiety and emphasize predictability. This gives a sense of control for both parent and toddler. See to it you allocate ample time for your toddler to take meals, read, nap, play, bathe and sleep. Always stick to a regular time to help prevent fatigue which causes stress. Quiet, relaxing activities like reading books, talking and cuddling helps relieve stress helping your toddler’s body and mind calm down. Keep disruptions to a minimum. Remember to give restrictions (e.g. areas of the house he cannot enter, cabinets he can touch, etc.). Setting limits comforts anxious children.

Provide Coping Mechanisms

Separation, sleeping, panic and obsessive compulsive anxiety disorders require coping mechanisms. You can minimize these attacks with:

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a very effective coping method to use among toddlers since they are often unable to convey their emotions out loud. It centres on letting a toddler process and express his concerns through play, which then enables the parent to help the toddler overcome the disorder.

Free play allows your young one to discover the world with his own pace. Encourage your child to play outside. The exposure he gets from playing hide and seek, tag, soccer and other active outdoor games helps him realize that life is safe beyond the four corners of the house. Gradually, this change will help him become less fearful and more easy-going.

If he is scared of cats, practice interaction with stuffed animals, watch animal cartoon shows or visit a pet store. Divert his attention by giving him activities that will keep him busy like drawing, coloring, cleaning his room or helping you cook meals.


Run, brisk walk or do jumping jacks together to keep your toddler’s mind and body busy. Teach him breathing exercises to soothe his nerves. Physical activities help your toddler take his mind off his concerns and focus on something else.


Give your toddler a notebook and a pen so the next time he feels restless he can just write off his thoughts in his journal. 10 to 20 minutes of writing will help your toddler’s mind calm down. A lot of individuals find comfort in writing since it can put some form and shape to their confused emotions.

Show Empathy

Toddlers with anxiety disorders are not satisfied with just knowing they are loved. They need to hear it to feel safe. Do not just tell him to go to his room and sleep. Provide oral affirmations of love and security. Dance, sing, laugh, embrace, kiss, hold, rock and chat. Your uneasy child needs that extra comfort to help him relax and lighten the tension in his body. Acknowledge your toddler’s feelings. Talk about it openly. Ask what bothers his mind, why he feels that way and what he wants to do about it. After which, reward your toddler for trying to face his fears. Recognizing them already takes a lot of effort for him so be sure to commend his tiniest efforts. By doing so, you inspire your toddler to continue doing good.

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