The anxiety is a condition that affects between a 9% and 21% of children , adolescents and youth. Childhood anxiety appears when, during childhood, children feel that the experience they live at a certain moment, or throughout a larger stage, overwhelms them , without there being a clear or relatively easy solution to address.
There are different situations that promote the appearance of this phenomenon, such as: an education based on punishment; the existence of physical, psychological or bullying ; pressure to get good academic grades or the obligation to attend many extracurricular activities.
Childhood anxiety has a common basis in the way in which all human beings , regardless of their age, experience this disorder. However, the symptoms are expressed differently in childhood , since the vital moment in which the youngest is found corresponds to other ways of relating to and adapting to the environment.
Childhood anxiety can be reflected in the following symptoms . Each of them does not have to indicate that the person presenting it suffers from anxiety, but if they occur more than one at a time, it is probably the case .
- Fear of being alone.
- Appearance of tics and semiautomatic stereotyped behaviors (hair pulling, nail biting, etc.).
- Crying. It is worrisome when it happens frequently, not in isolated cases .
- Need to be physically in contact with parents, guardians or person in charge of their care , constantly.
- Deep crisis of anguish when separating from caregivers .
On the other hand, in the case of anxiety disorders, other more specific symptoms may manifest depending on what the problem is . For example, in the case of phobias, crises occur with a series of specific stimuli .
These are some guidelines to follow to get the little ones to overcome and mitigate their state of anxiety.
- Offer clear guidelines for behavior:
On many occasions, anxiety appears as a reaction to a chaotic environment, which is not understood . For example, it is quite common for childhood anxiety to be caused by experiences in which a contradiction is perceived in the rules of behavior to be followed at home, at school or in different social organizations. That is why it is important to be consistent with these rules, not to force children to obey arbitrary and changing rules and, above all, to make sure that they have understood them and understand why they make sense, even through very simplified explanations about their compliance. .
- Improve the communication system:
At a certain age, young children already have the ability to express through words what worries them, distresses them or causes them anxiety . The fact that their cognitive skills are not yet fully developed does not mean that their point of view should not be taken into account. On the contrary, we must pay attention to their state of mind and what their opinions are .
- Support them at all times:
The fact that a child feels protected by an adult makes them lose fear of the environment , since they feel that, even if they act badly or become confused, they are always supported by the person who cares for them.
- Show them affection:
Not all the support we can offer children has to be based on words or instructions. The displays of affection are essential for proper development during childhood and, in fact, it is necessary to emphasize it so that children feel loved and happy .
- Explain that they should not feel bad:
When experiencing anxiety, it is very easy to blame yourself . This also happens in the case of children, so it must be made clear that it is a disorder of which we are victims and that we should not throw stones on our roof, but encourage ourselves.