Anxiety is a common feeling in adults because of the various challenges and stress that they experience on a daily basis in some cases. However, most children seem not to suffer from anxiety, which is a good thing, as when it does exist in children it can significantly affect their development and performance in school.
Most children are too busy playing and doing other fun activities to be bothered by stress or anxiety. However there are some cases where children do indeed suffer anxiety, for a variety of different reasons and end up worrying about minor things.
Sources of Anxiety for Children
1. Unmet physiologic needs
Children whose physiologic needs aren’t met may suffer from anxiety. Simply missing breakfast can cause a child to perform poorly at school. It is important that a child’s daily functioning activities are all catered for and that the child maintains healthy habits.
2 Emotional and psychological abuse
Abusive parents or siblings, or a less than loving and happy home life can cause a child to react negatively and suffer from poor development and equally poor performance at school.
3. Obsessive compulsive disorder
School children can sometimes suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, which involves recurrent thoughts and compulsions. Sometimes, children with OCD become constantly anxious until they are able to satisfy their compulsions. Regardless of the cause, a child’s performance at school and their mental development can be seriously impaired.
Effects of Anxiety in School
There may be varying effects of anxiety for school-aged children such as:
● Poor performance in tests
When a child is bothered about something in class, they are less likely to perform well in academic tests, as they will probably have problems concentrating for any length of time. They might find themselves unable to focus or becoming confused very easily due to their anxiety.
● Poor comprehension
If a child is worried about something, then they are unlikely to be paying close attention to other activities in the classroom and are likely to have problems following instructions from the teacher.
● Poor memory
If a child is preoccupied with whatever it is that is worrying them, then they are very probably not going to be paying much attention to any new information that they are receiving and this can result in very poor memory performance, both short term and long term, until the child can eliminate the source of anxiety.
● Poor social interaction
Worried or anxious children don’t find it very easy to socialize or interact with other children. Their preoccupation and lack of peer activity can lead to isolation in the playground and compounding of the problem.
While mild forms of anxiety may be beneficial in certain cases and for short periods of time because it can increase the perceptual field of children, if it continues for a more prolonged period of time, then it will eventually have a significant effect on the daily functioning of the child. Parents should do everything possible to remove any identifiable sources of stress and relieve their children’s anxieties as soon as possible.
Posted by Pitt Goumas