World events can have adverse results on your child’s state of mind causing stress and anxiety. Children suffer internal anxiety in various ways; here’s how to cope with it. Do you know that experiences and events in the environment can cause internal suffering from anxiety in children? Many people suffer internally as a result of anxiety caused by the turn of events in their surroundings. Children suffer more since they still have no stable mindset to cope with such issues. As a parent, you need to be keen to look for the signs of anxiety and ensure your child is safe.
Children are naturally afraid of the events that happen around them. These can be things they hear, see, or even get actively involved in doing without their consent. Many occurrences today that can cause anxiety are everywhere, from the media to the streets, to schools, and the neighboring surrounding. Such events include:
- Natural disasters
- Pandemic such as Covid-19
- Gun violence
- Violent crime
These events are available in real-time in the media and social media, where many children spend most of their time. For example, the rise in the death toll caused by Covid-19 in 2020 has been broadcasted continuously on social media platforms. Children stay at home with anticipated uncertainties of going back to school. It can be stressful for many of them since they feel they do not know how these events are unfolding.
World events that can cause anxiety are categorized into two. These are broad and cover all the occurrences that trigger stress and anxiety in children. According to Anxiety Counselors in Cincinnati, these events may still affect your child grossly even when they do not directly impact their daily lives.
Anticipatory anxiety refers to events that children hear about in the world. They can listen to these occurrences from friends, radio channels, television news, and active social media. Events such as forced burglaries, fires, shootings, and death may affect them directly even when they are not involved.
When children see these events, they try to picture them and consider if they could happen to them. They will then be stressed and anxious about their safety, how to handle emergencies, and how they can help those in suffering. Some children will have concrete ideas and beliefs as they continue to see these occurrences robbing them of happiness and a stable thinking environment.
The anxiety will become worse at the sounds of sirens or when left alone in the compound. The child will always get clingy and very agitated at the thought of inadequate safety measures and how to cope with emergencies. They are still in the constant idea of ‘what if’ it happens to them.
Events in a school setting can also trigger anticipatory anxiety. There are many cases of rape and suicides in many young ones around the world. When they are not appropriately addressed, children will start seeing themselves as vulnerable to such events. It makes them very afraid of other people, which affects their social relationship with everyone around them. It also affects their thinking negatively, and they may start withdrawing.
There is a genetic component tied to anxiety. After children finish preschool years, they may struggle with the separation since their mind feels they had settled for that. Separation anxiety is significantly worse if children are left to transit through their school years alone without their parents or guardians’ support.
It may also occur due to the fear of separation of their parents or guardians. When children get news of separation and divorce from their friends or social media, they start associating themselves and developing a fear that it might happen to them. These trigger gruesome events in their mind making them fearful and wanting to withdraw.
Many children tend to cry and be clingy. They may start hating school and get frustrated quickly. These children will fear for their safety, the safety of their parents, and everyone who is suffering from separation. It can be very detrimental to their thinking. They will become anxious and avoid other activities they used to enjoy before.
How The World Events Affect Your Child
There are several ways occurrences in the environment can leave your child stressed and anxious. They may be avoidable or unavoidable due to the availability of live streaming news and social media. Some top ways of how information can reach your child are explained here.
Protection and security is the basic need of all children. They all crave to have safety, and it is upon the parents and guardians to make the children feel secure and protected. Sometimes parents are overwhelmed with issues such as economic challenges or pain. When they keep watching the news and lamenting what they see on the information and talk about scary events, children will feel the tension.
Children feel their parents and guardians can handle stress, and these negative occurrences happen around them. When they see that the same people they trust are getting overwhelmed, they fear and become anxious. They start associating themselves with the events and how they will cope with them when they occur. Some may even anticipate the events happening in their homes or schools.
It is not possible to conceal events happening in the news from children. Some parents even advise and make rules that there is no viewing of information. However, children can read the tension in the room and pay close attention to what is happening.
Since they cannot watch the news, they will tend to pick the pieces together and make their conclusions on the events. They will gather information slowly and come up with a personal thought to make them feel better. Most times, they end up getting anxious since the news cover frightening events in life.
Many peers share information that they have not confirmed if correct or not. As long as you may try to keep your child off from bad news, their peers may talk about them to make them feel justified and more informed. Your child may grasp such information and make them feel stressed even when they are not valid.
Lockdown and Natural Disaster Drills
There are currently several emergency drills in schools to make children prepare for such events in the future. When there is a school emergency, children always depend on the teachers to defend them. The practices are intended to equip children with coping skills with emergencies and remain calm when it happens. However, some kids worry more about their safety from these drills. They will start thinking that these events are about to happen, causing them to possibly feel anxious and stressed.
Signs of Anxiety
There are many signs of anxiety in children to look for, from emotional to physical. Here are the top signs that show your child is anxious:
- Getting into trouble quickly while at school
- Hoarding items
- Refusing to go to school
- Withdrawal from socializing and activities
- Sleeping problems and nightmares
- Decreased or increased appetite
How to Address World Events
You can address these events in different ways as a parent. Anxiety counselors in Cincinnati recommend starting early when the signs show to avoid making your child feel more insecure for long. It may result in serious health effects and abandonment. It would be best to:
- Have open talks with your child often
- Listen more to your children
- Answer honestly to your child’s questions
- Encourage your child to talk
- Share good news often
With Covid-19 pandemic and other potential hazards, many world events can cause stress in children. Use these guidelines to know the signs and help your child promptly. Anxiety can lead to serious mental and health problems.