Anxiety in Children
Are you observing your child?
We are having less and less time for more important things
The modern times can be described best by "More for less" and that means that all the resources are getting more and more squeezed under this paradigm. One of the key resources, Time has been the biggest casualty with measures like cycle time, turnover time and travel time for daily commuting. Time available for completion of many jobs or activities have been drastically reduced to unbelievable levels and more and more jobs have been added to evergrowing list of things to do in order to live. So we can easily realize that in our quest for a better living we have actually degerated into a life where we do not have time and attention to some very important and precious things in life.
The manpower resource has been has been reduced or in popular terms downsized. That means people have to do more work for increased number of hours to meet the objective of "More for Less". Add the explosion of choices in every area of consumption or services i.e. toiletry, breakfasts, cloths, gadgets, channels, transport modes or vehicles, recreations and what not. Managing these vast list of choices sucks up the available time like a vacuum cleaner.
Who is the biggest casualty beside you?
We ourselves are the biggest casualty of the modern times in a sense. Despite having more money, bigger homes, better cars, new gadgets; many of us are not able to experience peace, true happiness and tranquility. The moments like sitting near a river bank, the wind is caressing, the sun is mellowed and birds are chirping or flying are mainly experienced through movies, except for vacations which are not all that frequent for many.
The Biggest Sufferer
But wait, the biggest sufferer of the modern times syndrome are children and childhood. It does go unnoticed as its so abstract. Various nuances of the childhood can only be felt by a tranquil mind which is at peace with itself and the surroundings! But unfortunately such minds are hard to find!
I had been living a life where I have been in a state of depression for decades. I missed the childhood of my daughters who are into their teens. When I see them closely I find that one of them has grown into an anxious child. She looks fidgety, talks very fast, gets into nervous mood before an event or exams. Even her studies are on a wrong track as she rushes through the chapters. She gets easily upset and protests on many common issues. I feel so guilty.
It was a sad realization that my anxiety got transferred into her! How damaging! May be one needs to consider this issue with a great sense of importance than realized so far. If the children can recognize the touch of their mothers within a few months, it means they are intelligent enough to pick up the elements of the home atmosphere. So if a home is filled with anxiety, even though you are trying to hide it from the child, rest assured that the child will pick up those traits in all probability.
There are many numerous factors which are almost beyond control which can lead to a build up of anxiety syndrome in children. It may include a particular bullying child in the bus, the class teacher, particular acts or subjects in school, interactions at playgrounds, the baby sitting nurse etc. They may be beyond your control but observing awkward behavior syndrome is well within the reach of most of the parents.
Is your child a bit too anxious!
There are many symptoms that the anxiety is getting better of the child. Some of them may include
- Too much crying
- Resistance to face particular situations or things
- Fear to go to school
- Sitting quietly
- Difficulty in falling sleep
What are the possible ways
The first and foremost is that one should see children from the perspective that they also can fall to anxiety disorder which may or may not go away on its own. But keen observations along with some desired behavior with the child may reduce the chances of life long anxiety in children.
One must respect the current behavior which are symptoms of anxiety in the sense that the behavior is a result of undesirable external factors and not his own. You may think that the child is making you suffer but truth is that he is in a greater state of suffering. One need to make the child comfortable and talk it out to know the sources of his anxieties which can be tackled one by one through small and calibrated measures. Let us say the child is scared of a teacher. Make efforts to interact with the particular teacher, explain the case and establish a friendship between the source of anxiety and the child. One needs to be conscious of child behavior and the possible reasons, the cause and effect.
If not understood and ignored, the child may end up a chronic patient of anxiety disorders and will have a miserable life. Most of the times the sources of chronic anxiety lies in some childhood experience. Watch out whether your child has enough of smiles most of the time or not?