Growing up, children have to face various new challenges, which could sometimes lead to anxiety. Anxiety awareness expert and psychologist Anne Marie Albano, however, believes that instead of rushing to fix a child’s problems, parents should focus on building their confidence and raise them in a way such that they can overcome the challenges.
Anxiety is a common psychiatric condition in children, Albano pointed out. “These disorders start early, by age four, and by adolescence, one in 12 youths are severely impaired in their ability to function at home, in school and with peers. These kids are so frightened, worried, literally physically uncomfortable due to their anxiety. It’s difficult for them to pay attention in school, relax and have fun, make friends and do all the things that kids should be doing.”
Albano, who dealt with “extreme anxiety” herself as a young girl, went on to talk about research in childhood anxiety. She continued, “Studies from my own lab and from colleagues around the world have shown a consistent trend: well-meaning parents are often inadvertently drawn into the cycle of anxiety. They give in, and they make too many accommodations for their child, and they let their children escape challenging situations.”
So, what is the solution? Albano advised, “If parents and key figures in a child’s life can help the child, assist them to confront their fears and learn how to problem-solve, then it is more likely that the children are going to develop their own internal coping mechanisms for managing their anxiety.”
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