Anxiety in Children

Shria Abrol
Anxiety is silent. You wouldn’t even notice a change on the outside but anxiety makes it impossible to even manage simple tasks. People confuse anxiety with laziness but in reality the child with anxiety is just overwhelmed.

Child anxiety disorders often co-occur with depression, eating disorders and other behavioural problems, and it affects one in eight children worldwide. None of us wants to see a child unhappy, but the best way to help kids overcome anxiety isn’t to try to remove stressors that trigger it, It’s to help them learn to tolerate their anxiety and function as well as they can, even when they’re anxious. And as a by-product of that, the anxiety will decrease or fall away over time.
Common childhood anxiety
disorders include
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): GAD causes children to worry almost every day – and over lots of things. Kids with GAD worry over things like homework, tests, or making mistakes.
Social phobia (social
anxiety disorder)
With social phobia, children feel too afraid of what others will think or say. They are always afraid they might do or say something embarrassing. They worry they might sound or look weird. They don’t like to be the center of attention.
Selective mutism (SM)
This extreme form of social phobia causes children to be so afraid that they don’t talk. Children with SM can talk. And they do talk at home or with their closest people. But they refuse to talk at all at school, with friends, or in other places where they have this fear.
Specific phobia
when a specific problem triggers anxiety its called specific phobia. It’s normal for young children to feel scared of the dark, monsters, big animals, or loud noises like thunder or fireworks. Most of the time, when kids feel afraid, adults can help them feel safe and calm again.
Separation anxiety
Children with Separation Anxiety Disorder tend to shadow parents around the house, have difficulty playing or being alone, and have difficulty at bedtime. They often require a parent or caregiver to stay with them when they fall asleep and make their way into the parents’ bedroom when they wake during the night.
Parenting tips to deal
with anxiety disorder
*Look for various symptoms of anxiety disorder like changes in eating habits, interest in self-destructive behaviour, difficulty in managing relationships, extreme sensitivity etc
*Pay attention to the need of child and make sure you find out what is stressing the child .
*Don’t become anxious looking at the child’s anxiety, stay calm.
*Appreciate your child for every small thing this will enhance their confidence.
*Make sure that there is no communication barrier between you and your child.
*Identify the areas where the child needs to improve.
*Keep a check on child’s social media accounts.
*Involve your child in various discussions and listen to their opinions.
*Make a schedule for the child to follow and keep It flexible.
*Take your child to a counsellor if required.
I believe that everybody has anxiety.The tricky part is how to tell the difference between normal and abnormal anxiety. Focusing on the positive can be an important element in managing anxiety.No matter how bad things seem, you must believe that you are meant to win. With faith, people who care, professional help, and the desire to change, anything is possible.
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
(The author is Counsellor Jodhamal Public School)