We tend to assume that kids have it better than ever, but in reality, parents may have reasons to be concerned. New research shows that two-thirds of children worry “all the time.”
The mental-health charity Place2Be surveyed 700 children, all ten or eleven years old, across twenty schools throughout England, Scotland, and Wales. The results of the study showed that children deal with a wide variety of anxiety inducing concerns every day, the most prominent topics being family, friends, and fear of failing at school. Additionally, 40% of the children “felt that their worries got in the way of their school work,” nearly 30% stated that “once they started worrying they couldn’t stop,” and 21% said they “did not know what to do when they are worried.”
Similarly, the study revealed several gender differences. Girls tend to worry more about their looks and being bullied, while boys were more likely to worry about being angry. However, these concerns were prevalent in both boys and girls.
While children utilize coping strategies such as talking to their family and friends, or playing video games, more than 80% of the children reported that “the best way for adults to help was to listen sympathetically.” The children also stated that many of them have learned from their own experiences, so they recognize the importance of “being kind to anxious classmate.”
Often children are characterized as always being happy and primary school is viewed as an innocent and happy atmosphere, however, Place2Be charity’s chief executive, Catherine Roche, says, “in reality we know that young children can worry about a lot of things, whether it’s something going on at home, with their friends, or even about bad things happening in the world.”
Worry and anxiety are natural and normal occurrences, but it is extremely important that children know how and where to receive help. “Schools and families play a crucial role in ensuring that children learn to look out for each other and know how to get help if they need it.”
For more information on how to support your child and cultivate healthy coping strategies, check out Parenting with Grace! A Catholic Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Kids. https://www.catholiccounselors.com/product/parenting-grace-catholic-parents-guide-raising-almost-perfect-kids-2nd-ed/