Childhood Mental Health: Coping with Anxiety and Fear
Fear and anxiety go hand in hand in making a children’s life a little more complicated. Whatever events that have tragically happened, a child will go in severe stress that’ll be the reason to increase their fear and anxiety even at a very young age. In order to have a childhood mental health that is free from any kind of problems and worries, parents and guardians must provide proper care and support. As a parent, you can greatly help in your child’s coping mechanism when dealing with death, disasters and violence that has accompanied life ever since.
One of the best ways to ease the anxiety and fear of a child is to talk and listen to them. Learn about their concerns and tell them that safety should always be the priority. Encouragement for children to ask or share details of what they’re concerned about is a stepping stone for early engagement and elimination of fear in a child. Ask them how they have become affected in certain situations and explain why things are happening as such. Children, even at a very young age, can identify some of the tragedies that are occurring and will occur. They may choose to react to it or understand it according to their developmental stage.
There are several pointers in caring for children who are exhibiting fear and anxiety in their lives. These pointers are very important to observe in children.
1. Ask. Do not be apprehensive when talking to your children. It is important that you know how they feel and what can they say about the situation that have occurred. If there is a death in the family, never let your child go on silent because they could’ve been experiencing a certain unexplainable feeling that they can’t convey. This will be enclosed in their system and develop some kind of emotion which will become a frustration when they grow up.
2. Listen. It is not only important that you let the child talk but to let him speak. When you listen, you give your child the opportunity to be heard. Do not interrupt. Talk only when he is through then try to explain what is happening. Address his or her fears and how much are they affected regarding the situation. If you can’t answer their questions, it’s alright to tell them that you don’t know. The important thing is, you have given them the opportunity to air out how they feel.
3. Bring your self to their level. When you talk to them, make sure to use words that they will be able to understand. Using technical words will just confuse them thus, making it more impossible for the both of you to communicate.
4. Know their fears and worries. Children tend to be frightened about monsters under their bed or inside their closets. Ask them what their fears are. Some of the topmost worries are because of school or with other children who might bully them around.
6. Give sufficient time. Time given to a child is more important than time given to your work or with peers. When a child lets you see drawings and plays, pay attention to how they have done it. This will give you glimpse on how they are handling life’s facts. Ask them about the picture and what were they thinking and how they are feeling while drawing it. This will help you clarify questions, misconceptions and will give you assurance about your child’s mental health.