Childhood is often described as the scene of play and fun, but it doesn’t have to be.
In the same way that excessive anxiety is one of the most common psychological problems in adults, statistically it also greatly affects the little ones in the house, and add to that they have fewer resources to manage. these worthless experiences. otherwise, the need to understand their world to help them and prevent these kinds of problems becomes evident.
Therefore, in this article we will a review of the most common sources of childhood anxiety in boys and girls.
Common sources of childhood anxiety in children
It is the everyday experiences that call for easily causing childhood anxiety.
1. Conflicts within the family
The family forms the social environment in which the little ones should feel safe, but this does not happen in all cases. Some boys and girls learn to be constantly mindful of being surrounded by arguments, quarrels and punishment, etc.
Remember that mental health is not individual, but contextual, and that our emotional well-being, both in childhood and adulthood, is linked to what is happening around us… but with the difference that boys and girls have less room to maneuver to face stressful situations that arise at home on their own, with less freedom.
2. Irrational fears
In many ways, children and adolescents think very differently from adults; it is not that they lack information or knowledge quantitatively, that too, but that their minds function in a qualitatively different way. Only in this way is it understood, for example, that up to certain ages it is normal for them to have imaginary friends or for their understanding of the world to be clearly superstitious in many ways. To fill their knowledge gaps, they use what is called magical thinking, And this consists of attributing intentions, emotions, motivations and thoughts to inanimate elements: objects, landscapes, plants, stars, etc.
In this way, they manage to make sense of what surrounds them by grouping a series of complex elements (for example, what can be seen in the sky) into imaginary entities that group several of these elements into units ( for example, a magician who once transformed becomes the set of clouds that we can see up there).
The downside is that the smaller ones they are vulnerable to a number of irrational fears which in some cases can cause them anxiety and even trouble sleeping. As parents, educators and psychological well-being professionals, it is important to help them cope with these fears without getting used to constantly fleeing these elements (darkness, fear-generating objects, etc.).
3. An overload of tasks
One thing that many parents unfortunately forget is that the little ones need free time and play, No more pretensions than having fun and experimenting. Not only is this not a waste of time, but it’s their way of learning firsthand how the world and personal relationships work (in the case of playing with the group of friends).
For that, it’s a big mistake to fill our children’s schedule with one extracurricular activity after anotherSomething that sometimes falls to try to teach the little ones as much as possible from their first years of life. Not only is it counterproductive as a long-term learning project (it is difficult to enjoy these activities in such a situation, and therefore self-motivation is low), but it can also lead to problems with stress and severe anxiety.
4. Misuse of social media
Social media is another area where young people interact with each other and develop their own identity, Especially in adolescence, the stage at which identification with a reference group (made up of young people of the same age) is more important. But since this virtual environment is a world of extremes, the contents which show an aesthetic and idealized lifestyles stand out above all.
This leads many minors to feel bad about their life and try to improve their self-esteem by ‘competing’ for the attention and validation of others on these social networks, either by sharing their own content or by constantly reviewing what they put online. others so as not to lose anything and be on the cutting edge. This need to constantly think about the operating logic of social networks, the content is updated second by second, can generate anxiety: see that the last post we uploaded did not receive too many interactions, chat with someone in a comments section, etc.
5. The habit of playing video games at all times
Many video games have playable mechanics with a great ability to “stick” to the player and make it difficult to detach from the screen. Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon, because on the one hand, in the first years of life it is more difficult to regulate impulses by prioritizing long-term goals, and on the other hand, most of these games are visually narrative designed to appeal to the younger demographic.
This causes, for example, many children to feel discomfort and anxiety when they cannot play, or to experience frustration or anger when they have to interrupt play to make others school or family tasks, etc. Therefore, while video games are not inherently bad, you need to make sure that your usage guidelines are correct.
Interested in learning more about the emotional well-being of boys and girls?
If you are interested in learning the basics of emotional well-being and good psychological development in children, you may be interested in my book Guide for parents in difficulty, Published by Vital Editors and which you can buy both in conventional bookstores and in online stores. In this work, I explain, clearly and with similar language intended for people without prior training in psychology, the theoretical and practical principles of good parenting of children and adolescents.
Some of the topics that you will find in its pages are the need to encourage good self-esteem in children, tips for improving your children’s social skills, tips on how to set limits in an appropriate and balanced way, mindfulness exercises for kids, how to help them cope with their fears, and more.
- Bhatia, MS, Goyal, A. (2018). Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: need for early detection. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 64 (2): pages 75-76.
- Beesdo, K .; Knappe, S .; Pine, DS (2011). Anxiety and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: developmental issues and implications for DSM-V. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 32 (3): pages 483-524.
- Rizaldos, MA (2019). Guide for parents in difficulty. Zaragoza: vital editors.
- Wehry, AM; Beesdo-Baum, K .; Hennelly, MM; Connolly, SD; Strawn, JR (2015). Assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Current Psychiatric Reports, 17 (7): 591.