Anxiety in children should be of the utmost importance to a parent. Children exposed to stressors with which they are unable to cope develop, at a very early age, stress related disorders that will remain with them for a lifetime. Childhood anxiety can be used as a learning tool by the nurturing, caring parent. Children who experience separation anxiety, and all children experience this stress, are comforted when reassured that their feelings are valid and that the parent will indeed return and when that will happen. Teaching children critical thinking skills and how to self-comfort in times of anxiety helps them to handle stress as adults in a positive and healthy fashion. Something we see too little of in today’s world. Human beings are the only species on earth that expose their young to stressors with which they are not able to cope.
Help for Anxiety in Children
Contrary to popular belief, anxiety is not a disorder limited to the adult population. Anxiety in children is rapidly increasing as children, too are feeling the effects of stress in their lives.
Events of childhood can deeply affect an individual’s entire life. It is mandatory for every parent to recognize the anxiety in their children and to nip it in the bud, before it takes over their child’s personality.
Therapy for Children Suffering From an Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety in children should always be given special attention. This is best achieved by a trained medical professional. Individual psychotherapy is considered the first line of treatment by many doctors. This is important to give the child the confidence he needs and assure him he is not a failure. Group psychotherapy can also be considered as it reassures the child that he is not alone and there are other children facing similar problems.
Along with the affected child, parents should also be given guidance sessions which help them continue the management of their children’s anxiety at home. Often the entire family is involved as the child’s entire environment should be compassionate and encouraging. School based counseling is preferred in situations where the school is the cause of the anxiety.
Parents and teachers should understand the emotional background of the anxiety in children. They should put in an effort to remain extra calm and patient. Any situation which triggers anxiety in children should be planned for ahead of time, in order to manage the situation in the best way possible. Encouragement and praise of the child is a key strategy to combat anxiety in children. Special care is taken for children whose anxiety is due to school phobias. In these cases, teachers should cooperate and allow extra time for late arrival, or slow responses to work.
The Use Of Anti-Anxiety Medication in Children
The list of drugs available for the management of anxiety in children is long. The most common used line of drugs is the antidepressants. It should be remembered that results don’t appear until after two to four weeks of drug use and side effects should be monitored continually.
Though certain cases can only be helped with use of drugs, home and environment help is an essential part of management and it is only when these two things go together that, the child can be totally free from the anxiety which is ruining his life.