Navigating ADHD symptoms can be a minefield, even without the anxiety that often accompanies attention-based disorders. Even when ADHD is not present, many people struggle with anxiety in the short or long-term, and persistent anxiety can present challenges to cognition and concentration that affect the attention span. That’s why so many of the coping strategies for these conditions overlap.
If you are trying to provide a supportive and healing environment for children and teens with either anxiety or ADHD, there are a few tried and true ways to lessen symptoms that can be used on their own or with traditional medical interventions. These strategies work by reducing the excess stimulation that can exacerbate symptoms of both conditions, and they can be helped further by trying over the counter meds for ADHD child onset symptoms.
- Quiet rooms and low-sensory involvement areas to decompress and de-stress
- Scaffolding activities like transitional activities in and out of work or study times
- Reducing the number of simultaneous demands or responsibilities to encourage focus
- Breaks for activity and movement, since light exercise can help regulate one’s nervous system
- Judgment-free communication based around mutual problem solving instead of performance demands
The key to all of these support strategies is to reduce the number of simultaneous stressors that someone with ADHD or anxiety symptoms might experience at once. It’s also a good idea to look into interventions that work on the physical basis of the brain’s dysregulation. You can learn more about over-the-counter options and how they work by reading Brillia for children reviews that explain the mechanism of action in OTC ADHD treatment.
Most parent-child communication tips have traditionally revolved around modeling responsibility and setting proportional consequences for choices. That does not work as well for children that are struggling with ADHD or anxiety, however, because many behaviors associated with responsibility and self-control are harder to regulate without outside help. Creating a safe way to communicate when challenges present themselves is the first step to alleviating ADHD symptoms in 13 year olds and younger children, which sets them up to self-regulate better as they approach adulthood.
- Identify problems without assigning blame
- Ask questions that help support communication and openness
- Learn to talk about symptoms and to identify them to model the same behavior to your child
- Approach challenges as a problem to solve together, through collaboration
- Set your own emotions aside to work on changes to behavior
- De-escalate consequences by creating teachable moments instead of punishing shortcomings
At the end of the day, working through the issues involved with ADHD and anxiety symptoms is a matter of learning how to give the nervous system room to approach problem solving one issue at a time. That means the best thing you can do is model how to break down a problem into manageable steps that your child can grapple with one at a time, without needing to worry about the big picture until everything comes together at the end. Take the time to learn more about your options for interventions today, and give your child a better tomorrow.