Managing Your Child's Anxiety
By communicating clearly with your kids, you will reduce anxiety, a common problem among kids. The majority of children with "ADD/ADHD" labels and behaviors are actually very anxious. They anticipate where they are going, panic with things that are unfamiliar. Parents are reporting a number of behaviors attributed to anxiety, though some may not recognize it. Here are a few tips to help transitions, trips out of the house and experiences. To begin with, make a list of things to do when waking up every day - a VERY detailed list either in words or pictures depending on your level of reading. Try to involve your child and give them a opportunity for their input on what needs to be included on the list. Upon completing the list, post it in the room for easy viewing, and you should begin on a Saturday morning, taking a dry run over the weekend. In addition to helping your child become independent, building their confidence, and stopping the repetitive instructions on what to do every morning, this list will also serve as a resource when they get off track. For the bathroom, create a similar list with specific bathroom tasks. We find it helpful for our patients to have their daily academic calendars at School so that they know what to expect each day. It is also a good idea to put up the family calendar so everyone can easily see what is coming up or when certain activities will happen. You can find calendars for classrooms by specific ages that may be able to work for your home calendar. If you are leaving the house, you should tell your kids what will happen on the trip. Do not deviate from what is told. It's a good idea to pull over if something unexpected happens, such as an accident or construction, to explain the change of route. Scheduling and communication are key to managing anxiety. Anxiety is usually triggered by a combination of factors, and it does not always occur consistently. Parents, teachers, and therapists cannot always see a number of factors contributing to anxiety. However, lists, calendars, and communication can help off set what you cannot control, as well as instill positive self-confidence and independence in your child.