Almost every child is faced with the problem of anxiety. Some children are more prone to worry than others. Anxiety appears when the child gets into a new situation, feels that they will have to face pain or feels separation from their parents, even for a while. Any changes related to the child’s usual routine, for example: going to the hospital or kindergarten, attending a new sport or children’s club may cause worry. Of course, any parent tries to prepare their child for something new. However, despite all the best efforts, anxiety still appears. Children’s’ worries are expressed in different ways. Signs of anxiety are:
- weakness in the legs;
- sweating palms;
- pain in the head or abdomen;
- attempts to bite their nails;
- winding hair on the finger.
If you teach your child in early childhood to cope with their feelings, then for their later life these states will be easier to overcome.
Causes of children feeling anxiety.
Children at an early age are always afraid of something. Closer to two years, some babies have a fear of pain. These feelings include fear of doctors or medical instruments.
Loneliness and fear of enclosed space are also causes of worry. Older children, up to about 6-8 years old, are confronted with night fears, fear of the dark, and various monsters. When a child has a lot of fears, they have a steady anxiety that accompanies them constantly.
Modern psychologists believe that anxiety can be associated with improper relationships between the child and their parents. For example, mum and dad, unintentionally through the use of some behavior techniques and methods of education provoke the appearance of anxiety in their child. Also, here there can be several contributing factors:
- if the family does not have a consistent system of rules. For example: the mother forbids something to a child, and then the father allows it. Based on this, the child does not understand when and how to behave and, accordingly, is afraid to do something wrong.
- parents spend lots of time together, without their child. For example: they go to the cinema, go for a walk or go to visit friends and do not take the child with them. In this case, the child feels unnecessary and abandoned. They feel offended by their parents, and after a while the child becomes locked in. They feel left alone and as though they have no one to talk to about their problems, anxieties and fears.
- parents have too high expectations of their child. They want them to study not just well, but to be the best of all, to be independent, to attend extra activities and to succeed there too. The child has no choice, they have to strive and follow to the expectations of their parents, but this is very hard for the child’s psyche.
- parents want their child to do something and with the request suggest a punishment, such as: “If you don’t clean up the toys, then you will have to go and stand in the corner!”, “Go and do it this minute, don’t make me shout!”. These phrases show parent’s distrust of the child. Checking pockets, reading personal diaries and correspondence with friends, shows their disbelief in the child’s words.
Children feel stress growing up in these conditions, become antisocial and lose trust in their loved ones.
- There are parents who become too active in the child’s life. They constantly tell the child how and what to do, they scold the child for any deviations from the “norm”. Their children are always expecting to hear a reaction of disapproval from their parents.
- if there are several children in the family and mum and dad forget that every child equally needs their care and love. Most often it is the eldest child who feels deprived of parental love and attention, jealousy can appear here and the child may believe that mum and dad love them less.
-mum or dad can pass anxiety on to their child. Families in which there are always scandals and abuse or where adults use force during conflicts. Anxiety arises due to severe stress and can cause neuroses and mental disorders. In these cases, you should definitely contact a psychotherapist or psychologist.
How to help to your child cope with anxiety?
- always support and protect them.
- speak with the child about different situations and solutions, explain to them that they do not need to hide from problems.
- always help the child to cope with anxiety and fear.
- if something new will happen soon in a child’s life, then try to prepare them in advance.
- try to be positive.
- do not overstate the requirements and do not demand too much from your child, do not put undue pressure on them.
- regularly inspire your child with the confidence that you are always there and that you will always support them.
- try to avoid events where various competitions are taking place.
- massage will help to relieve tension
- often praise, hug and kiss your child. Say that you will always love and support them.
- talk to the child, find out about their condition and experiences.
- show cartoons where the main characters are also scared to cope in some situations, but they overcome their fears.
Stay close to your children. After all, only mum and dad and nobody else, can help their little one to overcome anxiety and fears.