Coping with My Child’s Morning Panic Attacks Before School: A Parent’s Guide to Managing the Situation
January 19, 2024

Here are some general tips that might help:

Validate their feelings: Let your child know that it’s okay to feel anxious and that you understand their distress. Reassure them that you’re there to support them.

Open communication: Encourage your child to talk about their feelings. Listen actively and without judgment. Sometimes, simply sharing their fears can help alleviate anxiety.

Identify triggers: Try to identify what’s causing the panic attacks. It could be related to schoolwork, social issues, or other stressors. Knowing the root cause can help address the problem more effectively.

Create a supportive morning routine: Establish a calming morning routine that allows your child to start the day in a relaxed manner. This might include activities like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or a calming breakfast.

Practice relaxation techniques: Teach your child relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, tapping or progressive muscle relaxation, to manage anxiety when it arises.

Positive affirmations: Encourage your child to use positive affirmations to boost their self-esteem and self-confidence. These can be especially helpful when dealing with school-related anxiety.

Gradual exposure: Gradually expose your child to their anxiety triggers. This can help desensitize them over time. For example, you might start by visiting the school during off-hours, then progress to spending a few minutes inside the school, and gradually increase the duration.

Consult with school staff: Talk to your child’s teachers and school or private counsellors about the situation. They can be valuable allies in providing support and accommodations at school.

Professional help: If the panic attacks persist and are significantly impacting your child’s well-being, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety disorders. They can provide therapeutic strategies or, if necessary, medication.

Medication: In some cases, a doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications, but this should only be considered after a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional.

Regular sleep and nutrition: Ensure your child is getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet. Lack of sleep and poor nutrition can contribute to anxiety.

Encourage regular exercise: Physical activity can help reduce anxiety, so encourage your child to engage in regular exercise.

Remember, every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Be patient and flexible in your approach and seek professional guidance when needed. It’s essential to create a supportive and understanding environment for your child as they work through their panic attacks.

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