3 Points to cover when you talk about anxiety with your kids

We all know that anxiety is an ever-present symptom in children with learning difficulties, disabilities or differences.

Children who are struggling to learn at school are often overwhelmed and paralyzed by anxiety, so how can we explain to our children what anxiety is?

The topic is complicated, but you can use this simple explanation to make it easy.

The first thing we can explain to our children is that…

“Research tells us that as humans we experience six basic emotions; happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. All other emotions fit into one of these six categories. Anxiety is simply a manifestation of fear; therefore, anxiety comes from feeling frightened,
afraid or fearful.”

The second thing is that…

“Every person on the planet will have anxiety; no one is immune. The person whose appears, to have it all together and looks to have the perfect life from the outside; the perfect family, the perfect house and car and the perfect holidays, will have anxiety. A homeless person who may not know where his or her next meal is coming from will have anxiety, and even teachers feel
anxious from time to time.”

So here is the third point we need to discuss with our children. Since anxiety is a normal human emotion, why is it that some people, appear to feel more anxious than others? The answer is simply that some people are better at hiding it than others.

Of course, what causes anxiety in people differs from person to person. A child who is struggling at school and finds it difficult to complete their schoolwork may feel anxious about this, but this same child may not feel anxious when they are playing sport, performing on stage or playing with a dog.

Another child who excels academically at school may feel incompetent when playing sport, struggles to make friends or might be petrified of dogs, causing them high levels of anxiety.

“What causes a person to feel anxious, differs from person to person, but the child who has a school learning difficulty will feel constant anxiety at school as they attempt class tasks, tests and exams.”

So why do we as humans experience anxiety as a form of fear?

We are animals and to ensure the survival of the human race we need to experience fear. It is inbuilt and necessary for our survival. It keeps us safe, aware and alive and ensures the survival of the human race.

The problem arises for us when the level of anxiety is too high or goes on for too long, and this results in preventing us from functioning effectively.

There are many triggers for anxiety in our children, but we need to let them know they are not alone and that they are normal. What we also need to do, however, is to support them and help them to find ways to control and reduce their school anxiety.

“Our children need to know that everybody suffers from anxiety or has times when they feel anxious, some people are better at hiding it than others and feeling anxious is normal unless it is affecting your ability to function.”

If you would like to watch a video of me talking about this topic in more detail you can go here to watch it on Facebook or here to watch it on YouTube.

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