Youth and Anxiety

Anxiety is a main complaint today among the young.

Increasingly, counselors are hearing from children between the ages of eleven to fourteen. They do not want to attend school due to anxiety.

Social media may rule their lives as they constantly watch the activities of their peers. They then wonder where they fit in this world.

Most institutions, including schools and churches cater for those whom thrive on social interaction. The quieter souls quietly struggle with this.

Attendance and participation in everyday events can be overwhelming. Thoughts that pass through their minds include, "where will I sit?, will anyone talk to me?, will anyone be my friend? what if the teacher asks me a question? or do I look okay?"

For some, these issues seem ridiculous but for many they are real concerns.

While the issue of anxiety is not solved overnight, we as adults can help.

A counselor and medication may be part of the answer, but that a parent fully listens and sympathizes is important. 

We may need to accept that a child is very different to ourselves and therefore understand that solutions that worked for us as a young one, may not work for a child.

Avoid simple answers. "Don't worry about it. "That's crazy." "You don't need to be like that." These are answers that are the end result rather than being thoughts that help a child through this process.

Establish social media free time in your household and this should include the parents. Apart from this, talk to children about social media. So much of it is false.

Lastly find ways in which your child can comfortably interact outside of the school setting. 

A child's anxiety may be alleviated by acknowledging that these years can be tough. To affirm your child that he/she is not strange but many are overwhelmed by similar issues. Your child is not strange but wonderfully unique.