Children don’t have bills to pay, a household to run, or a career to progress and succeed in. What do they worry about then? Just like parents, children have their share of things that don’t go as planned, daily. And if they don’t find an outlet for the frustration and disappointment, stress and worry can build up and ultimately cause anxiety in children.
Some children worry more than others, not necessarily because they have more to worry about, but because every child handles stress and anxiety differently. The way a child handles anxiety plays a really big role in their state of mind and how that mind will develop later.
Anxiety is an emotional state that we experience through various stages of our lives. Anxiety and fear are often emotions present at the same time.
Some of the Things Kids Worry About
– Grades and tests: School is an enormous part of a child’s daily life.
– A child’s social standing among friends and schoolmates: Some children are greatly affected by their social standing. Children want to be popular among their friends. Not being popular or not having friends can put a huge amount of stress on children.
– Bullying: Bullying is one of the biggest issues and causes of anxiety and even suicide in the world at the moment. Children who are being bullied usually are emotionally drained and stressed. Some of these children often can’t deal with the emotional torture and see suicide as the only way out.
– Problems in the family: Problems within a family may be one of the biggest causes of anxiety in children. Parents who are on the brink of a divorce; parents fighting in front of their children; the death of a family member and the merging of two families may all be contributors to a child’s anxiety and stress levels.
Some children are born with an anxious temperament, and some are born with no intention to be anxious about anything, at all.
How to Identify Anxiousness in Children
Children suffering from excessive anxiety may display the following emotions and actions:
– Anger, aggression, tantrums, restlessness, irritability
– Children who cry easily
– Constant worry about how something will turn out or what will happen
– Headaches and fatigues
– Poor concentration
– Withdrawal from activities and friends and family
– Eating disorders or a sudden change in eating habits
– Negative thinking, over-exaggerating
How to Handle and Help an Overly Anxious Child
– Guidance: Guiding a child toward a solution to their worries may help ease anxiousness. A child needs to be guided and taught how to deal with challenging situations. Parents can talk to their children about their worries and help them think of solutions. Being involved in a child’s worries and solution to their worries will encourage them always to ask their parents for help.
– Understanding: Parents understanding and relating to what children are going through may also encourage the child to speak to his or her parents. Relations among parents and children encourage children to share because they feel their parents know what they are going through.
– Perspective: parents should put their child’s worries and stresses into perspective. Some of the things children worry about are hardly anything to be worried about – it’s important that the parents let the child know that it’s not as complicated as they make it out to be. Many of the things children worry about are things that have already happened – parents need to teach children that they cannot undo what has been done, and cannot change the outcome of certain things – therefore, their worrying and stress is unnecessary.
– Practice what you preach: Teaching a child how to handle stress and anxiety cannot be taught only in words – parents need to handle their own stress and anxiety properly before they can help their children. Actions speak louder than words – proper stress management and the way a parent acts in front of their children play a large part in determining how their children are going to handle stressful situations.
Anxiety in children is growing with the increasingly difficult demands of modern day life. However with the proper parental guidance provided from a young age, children can grow up ready to face the challenges life sets for them.