It is normal for children to experience some level of anxiety in their everyday life. However, the modern world has seemingly amped this severely out of proportion. Fearful and anxious behaviours are common in children when faced with new situations and experiences. Unfortunately, this appears to be more prevalent than ever before.
Your children may however need additional support if:
- Your child feels more anxious than other children of a similar age
- Anxiety stops your child from participating in normal activities
- Anxiety interferes with school or social get togethers
How can anxiety impact your children’s life?
The impacts of anxiety can affect how your child thinks and acts in given situations. When the anxiety is not yet severe children will attempt to manage distressing situations by themselves. This may include reaching out to you, avoiding stressful situations, or similar. Unfortunately, if anxiety does get more severe then it can impact your child physically. Some of the common symptoms of anxiety include diarrhoea, stomach aches, headaches, and sleepiness.
Types of Anxiety your children can experienced
There is a range of anxieties that can affect primary school aged children. Some of the most common ones include Phobia, Social Phobias, Generalised anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and separation anxiety disorder. Check out some of the more information about these stress disorders.
What causes anxiety in children?
There are several aspects within a child’s life that can cause anxiety disorders to develop.
- Genetics. These play a significant role as children who have family members that suffer from anxiety disorders are more likely to suffer from one too.
- Brain Chemistry. Genes dictate the way brain chemicals, neurotransmitters, work. If certain brain chemicals are in short supply or performing subpar, this can cause your child to experience anxiety.
- Life situations. Stressful life situations are one of the biggest contributing factors and catalysts to anxiety disorders. This can include the loss or death of someone close, violence, abuse, or significant changes.
How are anxiety disorders treated?
If you suspect your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder, the best first step is to book an appointment with a qualified child psychologist. They can help identify the disorder and help working with your child. One of the keyways anxiety disorders are treated is with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) . This teaches the child about their thought processes and how their thoughts affect how they feel. CBT allows children to gain control over their thoughts and how to face fears and difficulties. Parents can also benefit from CBT and counselling sessions, to help them improve management of these anxieties at home.
Is the modern world contributing to anxiety?
Studies have certainly shown that children are experiencing higher amounts of anxiety than ever before, such as the 2015 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey. It is still uncertain whether individual children’s vulnerability, the access to social media, or stressful environments are the key causes for this. The lack of physical activity, dieting culture, and stress from studies and financial difficulties are all additional factors. All you can do as a parent, is to provide a safe and secure environment and support for your child suffering from social anxiety.