In the past few years, I have noticed that many children are beginning to experience anxiety and stress. Children as young as four and five years old have to go on medication to manage anxiety. There are many resources out there to support children and the biggest one includes empowering them through techniques that they can use just like adults to help manage their emotional well-being. Here, I will be sharing some of the possible reasons for this increase as well as what you can do to help your child overcome these unfamiliar barriers InshAllah.
First, Just like ourselves, we have to teach our children that different emotions and feelings are a normal part of being human. Every year, as I teach my class, exploring emotions is a big part of my teaching and children's self-regulation. I read books that teach them to name their emotions and situations where they might feel them.
Children seem to be getting impacted by the many pressures their parents are also feeling. As parents try to juggle responsibilities, children may not be getting as much quality time as they need. Each moment is beginning to feel rushed. Children who have experienced trauma are also very likely to exhibit anxiety. Children absorb all the stress they feel around them. I have worked with many families who would be called in for a meeting to discuss their child's anxious behavior. Some of those families would share that both parents are working at different times, would have two jobs, or maybe going through domestic issues. Some of the behaviors the children displayed were
*loss of appetite
*lack of focus/constant distraction
*complains of stomach ache/headache
*socially distant from peers
*Accidents (Even though they are potty trained)
Children need our help in learning how to connect with the world around them. They need our help in recognizing, communicating their emotions and most of all, they need our reassurance and unconditional love. It can be very overwhelming when they do not understand their needs or feelings and then get labeled for expressing. They need our patient and calm approach to understand how to process difficult experiences.