Anxiety is one of the most common problems experienced by children and young people. Both boys and girls are affected.
It is a natural experience and many people feel it, regardless of their age. It is a normal response when faced with something that is threatening or dangerous, embarrassing or stressful.
Children and young people have common fears that can relate to their age. Infants can develop fears of separating from their parents. Young children can fear the dark, insects and animals. Youth commonly have anxieties about fitting in, being judged by others, school and sport performance.
Physical signs of anxiety are a result of the body responding to a situation that makes you feels uncomfortable. This could include: Increased heart rate, heavy or rapid breathing, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, headaches.
Thoughts associated with anxiety are usually related to worrying about threat or danger or that something bad is going to happen. Children and young people may have difficulty talking about their worries.
Behaviour patterns that are a common in anxiety include: Fidgeting, pacing, crying, being clingy, physically shaking and avoidance
Anger can have a big impact on our family because when people are angry the behaviour that goes with it is often aggressive. Shouting, name calling, put downs, banging things, hitting, throwing etc. This can be scary. Anger is a normal healthy emotion. We feel angry when things so wrong, if we don’t get our own way, or when we feel hurt, let down or hard done by. People express their anger in different ways. Learning to express our anger appropriately is important. Toddlers and young children express their anger by having tantrums. They can kick and scream, hit and destroy things, slam doors. This behaviour is normal and usually out of frustration due to lack of control or being overwhelmed, overtired or hungry. This is their way of saying “I don’t like what I’m feeling”. When toddlers can’t tell us with their words they tell us with their behaviour. Children and young people usually show their anger by shouting, refusing to do what they are told, saying horrible things and upsetting others. They can break or smash things, and hit or hurt their parents and other family and friends. Angry teenagers can be defiant. Hormone changes and changes in the brain mean that many teenagers have trouble controlling their anger behaviour. This can feel frightening for the teenagers as well as the parents.
Children and young people can feel angry for many reasons, including the following:
Bullying is a serious and distressing experience for children and young people. If the effects of bullying aren’t managed as they arise it can cause further distress and can also be carried into into their adult lives.
Children and young people have a right to feel safe and secure. It’s important that as adults, we listen to children and young people and help them find the support they need. So it’s important that you have good information to support you when dealing with anything to do with bullying. If you have any concerns around bullying behaviours please contact us for further information, support or to make an appointment.
Most bullying behaviour is hidden from adults’ view. Talk to your child if you are concerned and ask general questions about how things are going. Take all allegations seriously.
If your child is impacted by bullying they may:
Seem anxious or negative about school
Be frightened of going to and from school, want to change their route, or ask to be driven to school
Be unwilling to go to school, feel ill in the mornings
Begin doing poorly in schoolwork
Be reluctant to join in certain activities
Regularly come home hungry (someone has taken their lunch or lunch money) or with belongings damaged or missing
Have bruises, cuts or scratches they can’t explain
Be submissive or withdrawn with other children, spend more time alone, or have a sudden loss of friends
Seem unhappy or insecure, with low self-esteem or self confidence
say things like ‘nobody likes me’ or ‘I haven’t got any friends’
Talk about wanting to hurt someone or get back at someone
Anxious about using their computer or mobile phone, visibly upset after using it, or suddenly avoiding it
close the screen or hide their mobile when others enter the room
Seem nervous receiving a text message or email, or receive suspicious texts, emails or packages
Refuse to say what’s wrong (too frightened of the bully).