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Anxiety is a normal part of a child's behavioural and emotional development. It is difficult to watch your child worry. However, it is important to note that it is normal. Anxiety has some benefits like keeping children alert to their world. Anxiety can encourage positive action to deal and cope with the challenges of life.

Kinds of Anxiety common to 6 - 8 years old

Social anxiety : Demands of elementary school can be challenging. Trying to find someone to play with at recess or someone to eat with, at lunch, can cause anxiety.


School avoidance : Avoiding something or someone. It might be a classmate who has been teasing your child, as a result of which other children may also be laughing at your child.


Test anxiety : The pressure to perform and achieve is tremendous. Parents will try anything to get their children to perform, cajoling, screaming or even bribing. Children become so nervous that when faced with a blank answer sheet, their minds go blank even if they are well prepared.


How to help your child fight Anxiety


Comfort him : Follow your instincts and comfort him. Find ways to help your child overcome fears and worries.


Speak it out : Emphasize that each child learns at his own pace and let him know that as long as he does his best, neither you nor he should be disappointed.


Lower your expectations : Pressure from peers, parents expectations, severe competition, etc. overloads a child, burdens him and makes him very anxious. Do not overload your child with too many extra curricular activities. Give him space

Why do people get Anxiety Disorder ?

It is completely normal to worry about one's hectic and complicated life, but if the worry becomes overwhelming you may feel that these worries are running your life.

A teen who has an anxiety disorder is neither crazy nor alone. The word "anxiety" usually refers to worry, concern, stress or nervousness. Many teens have anxiety disorders. Anxiety can interfere with things as basic as sleep, concentration and appetite. Anxiety disorder is very treatable.

Several factors can play a role including genetic brain biochemistry. Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. A person who has a family member with an anxiety disorder has a greater chance of developing anxiety disorders.


How are Anxiety Disorders diagnosed and treated ?
Some people go to their medical doctor, since they are worried about the physical symptoms associated with anxiety. A doctor can examine a person to determine whether he has any medical conditions that need treatment. Some times a psychologist or psychiatrist may be recommended. Some people try to relax themselves by using certain medication. Treatment for anxiety may include medication and cognitive behavioural therapy.


Past History
Rohan and Meetali are two cousins staying in a joint family. They study in the same class and in the same school. They were referred to the child guidance clinic by their parents because of some insecurity syndrome, which resulted in many socially undesirable behaviour patterns. Rohan had frequent anger outbursts and temper tantrums. He assumed the role of a bully in his relationship towards Meetali. He whined and cried often to get adult attention and was oversensitive to criticism and suggestions. If Meetali did better than him and got better grades in school, he would show up his rebellious nature at home and become rude towards her. Tension prevailed at both ends.

Counselling with both children revealed that Meetali had some nervous habits which Rohan took advantage of and she preferred the company of younger children. She showed no resistance to imposed authority, but she always wanted to outbeat others in grades and had keen interest in her academic subjects. This created tremendous anxiety in her, which affected her physical health.

During counselling, it was revealed to both parents that everything possible should be done to provide a stable physical and social environment in which Rohan and Meetali can develop feelings of security and self responsibility.

They should recognize the importance of the goal that their children were trying to achieve and facilitate a greater expenditure of energy in that direction. Rohan's parents were advised not to increase the child's feelings of apprehension and guilt. Making him feel comfortable and avoiding comparisons with Meetali, even if he fared badly or obtained lesser grades would definitely help in their unconditional love shown to him. Parents should avoid nagging him and take sometime on a day to day basis and teach him routine study habits. Rohan and Meetali were asked to share their difficulties with each other and help develop social skills, which made them feel less anxious. Incentives were given to both when approved behaviour patterns were observed.

Through counselling, an increase in the self-esteem of both children was observed and they were made to express their emotions more effectively.



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