Easing Anxiety Disorders in Preschoolers

Preschoolers normally display anxiety at times when they have to attend their first day of school, while meeting a stranger, or going to dark places. These are normal cases of anxiety and last for a very short period. However, there are 13 to 15 percent of preschoolers suffering from unusually high levels of anxiety.

Anxiety disorders occur mostly in preschoolers aged between 3 and 7 years. Although they cannot express themselves, they display symptoms of anxiety in their daily routines. Preschoolers with high levels of anxiety characteristically show enormous levels of fear and concern over normal activities which are not appropriate to the situation.

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Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder in Preschoolers

There are certain common symptoms which are clear indications of anxiety disorders in preschoolers. Preschoolers usually feel shy when meeting new people or attending a gathering, which is natural; but displaying great fear is a symptom of an anxiety disorder. Other symptoms include excessive crying when going to school, bed wetting, frequent nightmares, complaining of headaches and stomach aches, low confidence levels, and difficulties in making friends.

Reasons for Anxiety Disorder in Preschoolers

Anxiety in mothers during pregnancy could be another reason for anxiety disorders in preschoolers. Separation from their parents or losing one parent, strict teachers in school, apprehension over a change of place or school, and frightful events could be some of the probable causes for anxiety disorders in preschoolers.

There are plenty of anti-anxiety drugs available in the market which include allopathic, homeopathic, and other natural medicines. However, the best way to treat preschoolers with anxiety disorders is to provide them a holistic approach with medicine and continuous attention from parents. Approaching a psychiatrist would be considered good help in comparison to medicines, as most medicines have side effects and can thus cause harm to the child.

Fighting Anxiety Disorder in Preschoolers

A few tips for parents to help fighting anxiety disorder in preschoolers are listed below:

  • Parents must encourage preschoolers to talk about their fears and discomforts; actively listen to them and get a clue about their anxiety.

    You must always try to explain the reality of the situation to preschoolers rather than avoid them.
  • Parents must show continuous love and affection towards their preschoolers by giving them frequent hugs and gifts. Make them feel safe and console them. Tell them that you understand their problems.
  • Parents must not show their anxieties in front of their preschoolers. Always teach them some relaxation techniques. If the preschooler shows anxiety about a change, then parents must explain to them about the change they are going to face and how can they overcome problems that they are going to face thereafter.
  • Parents must try to enhance the confidence levels of preschoolers by narrating stories on positive traits and sharing personal experiences of how they had overcome their fears in the past.
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