Navigating Childhood Stress and Anxiety

Childhood Stress and Anxieties

Everyone has worries and fears, hopes and aspirations, and as children get older they develop in new and different ways. However most adults view a child’s life as easy compared to the lives they know in their own adult lives, but a child’s worries and fears should never be taken lightly. Some fears are irrational, as far as adults are concerned, but when it comes to issues like monsters under the bed or the ominous feeling that comes with the night, it helps for parents to be supportive as well as informative, but in a delicate and understanding manner. There are also more troublesome anxieties that plague children that are serious no matter what the context, and it is absolutely vital that parents are aware of the effects these things can have on their children in the present and what that could mean for their future as well.

Bullying
Bullying is one of the major, as well as the most common issue that children face on a fairly regular basis. Whether your child is being bullied, has witnessed bullying or perhaps they even are the bully, it is important for parents to look out for the signs that something may be wrong at school or on the playground. Communication is key, and it is important that you open a line of dialogue with your child so that they are not afraid to come to you with issues or problems that they may be dealing with on a regular basis – which can be especially tricky when it comes to bullying as many kids may feel embarrassed or hurt by the events that take place outside the home.

If your child is bullied or is affected by bullying in any way, encouraging friendships and positive activities can work wonders. Having a support system and having a passion or favorite activity can be integral to building a strong sense of self-confidence. It can also be beneficial in a number of other ways, but these are great ways to make sure that your child feels safe, supported and strong.

Divorce or Marital Problems
As a parent, if you are in the midst of getting a divorce, are separated from your spouse or are having any other kind of marital issues, you may feel self involved and swept up in a way that affects you personally. But even if it feels as though this is an issue between you and your partner or ex-partner, children notice more things than many parents realize or are willing to admit. Verbal arguments or stressors put on your relationship can be visible and audible to your child, and it can certainly affect them and how they view you, themselves, and the world at large. Kids look to their parents as an example, so you may unknowingly be leaving a bad impression.

It is also important that parents understand not to hide things from their child as if it were a secret, but to explain and help them understand in a manner that makes sense to them. Be mindful of any arguments you get into and be aware of the things that you say. Getting a divorce or going through marriage troubles can be incredibly trying, but it is vital that you are aware of how this also affects your children as well.

Guns and Violence
With guns being in the news a lot lately, kids are likely to hear the stories and are not wrong for being worried about it. Many adults are worried too, and regardless of your stance on guns it can be scary to hear about all of the shootings and other gun related violence taking the media by storm. It helps to engage kids on the subject and teach them valuable life lessons that can keep them safe, just as it is smart to discuss a fire escape plan for your home. Educate yourself about emergency situations, where the safest places to go are and what sort of behavior you should assume. Make sure that you discuss these sorts of things with your entire family so that they have some idea about where to go in the event of an emergency, whether you are together or if you find yourselves apart. Make sure that children know who to contact or who to call, that they try to remain calm, and that they understand your family plan of action. See if you can attend any community events or seminars that cover situations like these where you can learn more and even meet police officers, fire fighters, volunteers and so on. Encourage your kids to ask them questions it may help them feel better and safe in the long run.

There are many other things that can worry children such as natural disasters, domestic abuse to name a few, but the most important thing to do as a parent is to make sure that you are open, honest, and understanding so that your child knows they can come to you for help with anything.

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