How To Help a Child With Anxiety?

Do you want to learn how to help a child with anxiety?

Childhood anxiety is one of the most important mental health challenges of our time. One in five children will experience some kind of clinical-level anxiety by the time they reach adolescence. Including information on how to help a child with anxiety works, how parents can spot it, and how to know when it’s time to get professional help.

According to Danny Pine, a child, and adolescent psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health and one of the world’s top anxiety researchers. Pine says that for most kids, these feelings of worry won’t last. But for some, they will — especially if those children don’t get help.

Childhood Anxiety Treatment:

Here are some takeaways that all parents, caregivers, and teachers can add to their anxiety toolkits.

  • Don’t avoid what your child fears. While this may offer short-term relief, using avoidance as a coping mechanism reinforces the anxiety and worsens it over time.
  • Offer comfort and model positive responses. Listen to your child’s concerns, but be careful not to reinforce these fears. Instead, help your child practice relaxation techniques while modeling appropriate, non-fearful responses to the source of your child’s anxiety.
  • Help your child learn to tolerate their fear. Allowing your child to be gradually exposed to the source of their fear while using relaxation techniques to calm their fear response can help them learn to tolerate distress and eventually learn that there is nothing to fear.
  • Conventional Treatment for Childhood Anxiety:  Conventional treatment for childhood anxiety usually includes prescription medication, like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
  • Integrative Treatment for Anxiety in Children:  An integrative treatment plan includes several elements that fit nicely together like the pieces of a puzzle. Prescription medications are only one piece of the puzzle.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):    CBT, is a type of talk therapy that has been scientifically shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders. CBT teaches skills and techniques to your child that she can use to reduce her anxiety.

Best Herbal Remedies For Ages 5-7:

  • Lavender:   One of the safest and gentlest essential oils, ​lavender is familiar to most of us as one of the most common herbs used in the bath and body world for relaxation. Lavender reduces anxiety in children by calming the nervous system.
  •  Chamomile: It can ease an upset stomach triggered by nervousness. Reduce stress headaches, and help children calm down for bedtime.  It can also alleviate anxiety and is useful for inducing sleep. What we consider the third pillar for stronger focus in children.
  •  Lemon Balm:  This herb packs quite a punch in terms of its varied benefits. Lemon balm has been shown to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, improve mood, and increase cognitive performance.
  • Regarding other herbs and supplements like valerian, Rhodiola, passionflower, L-theanine there are few studies in adults but insufficient data in children to recommend routinely. It’s best to discuss their use for childhood anxiety with an experienced integrative pediatrician.

Lifestyle Changes:

  • Make sure kids don’t get hungry or thirsty. As a pediatrician, I often write notes for the school to allow children to have snacks or drink more water.
  • Keep a routine in their daily schedule. Allow for frequent breaks and do not over-book their calendar.
  • Make sure they get enough sleep and establish a healthy sleep routine. Turn off all electronic devices two hours before bedtime.
  • No TVs in the bedrooms. Limit screen time to less than 1-2 hrs/day.
  • Exercise – children should play outdoors at least an hour every day!