you probably wouldn't believe the number of children who are depressed!
At the present moment, the emotional feelings network of sites has 2 separate resources for information concerning children.
I work from a family of origin perspective, in that, I believe that people’s emotional &/or psychological distress as adults can partially be the result of problematic core beliefs developed in early childhood.
A primary hallmark of GAD is pervasive worry. “Fear of the fear” is how some of my clients have described the feeling. If I look back far enough in a client’s history I’ve typically found a childhood experience laced with chaos,
high expectations &/or a highly anxious parent.
When children are born into this world, they're physical beings with no
developed sense of self. Young infants begin to develop their core self as they interact with their primary caretakers.
If all things are right, the growing infant will also develop the idea that others can be trusted. Barring any seriously negative life experience along the way, the baby becomes a toddler who becomes a child who becomes an adult with good feelings about his place in the world.
This creates a pervasive fear or constant fight-or-flight response. A common core belief developed by children in this situation is, “something bad is going to happen.”
This belief system can follow children as they develop into adults who then walk through my office door complaining of constant worry,
rumination, sleep disturbances & trouble concentrating. They’re still operating under the belief system that “something bad” will happen to them!
If the person is recapitulating the abusive dynamic in their current relationships, then maybe, “yes.” But I’ve found that more times than not, they're operating
under a belief that no longer applies to their environment but is only causing them unnecessary distress.
People who’ve lived in a home with high expectations from their parents can also develop problematic core beliefs. Parents who push kids to achieve need to be careful not to be sending the message, “My love is conditional on what you do.”
This can yield a child who believes that he/she must perform or do something really well to be accepted. After all, the most important people in the world to children are their parents. It would make perfect sense that they’d do anything they could do
be loved & accepted!
Adults who suffer anxiety symptoms often struggle with perfectionism, or the need to reach the highest possible bar. Clients I’ve had with this situation complain of feeling like they’re on a “hamster wheel” & that it’s never enough. Often they come to me physically
& emotionally exhausted.
Children who grew up with anxious parents almost can’t help internalizing a certain amount of anxiety themselves. We model so much of the behaviors we see from our primary caretakers, learn about how to be in relationship,
how to interact with others & the world.
Those who had a highly anxious mother are particularly susceptible to having their own anxiety disorders. Infants are more tuned in to their mother’s state of being than we think – they can pick up information from the quality or quantity of touch, attention, energy in the room, etc.
Problematic belief systems developed in childhood can be challenged & the symptoms around them (anxiety) can be decreased & distinguished all together. The way that I’ve found that works for me is to understand the source (family of origin or other significant life events),
develop empathy & validation for the adult’s experience at that time, normalize the defenses erected as protective measures in a vulnerable environment, reframe the core beliefs about self & teach cognitive-behavioral skills such as identifying & disrupting irrational thinking styles.
A helpful way to conceptualize this is to separate the adult experience from the child's – & identify the idea that they both reside within the client! I often will ask, “When you experiencing all
that reactivity, who’s driving the bus, the adult or the child?”
I’ve never heard anyone tell me that their adult rational mind was in charge at that moment.
Honoring the child's experience & normalizing the development of these unhelpful belief systems can also help lead to the resolution of anxiety.
soon there will be a menu of topics here for you to look thru from both - children
101 & the children's pages at anxieties 101!
Although the awareness of bullies has been "out there" pushed by celebrities
such as Dr. Phil and his son, children are still severely bullied & some of their teachers know about it & don't
do anything about it....
A Note About Stress in Your Children
By Susie Mantell
The Best Years of Their Lives?
Today, Kids Know All About
The truth is…I don't know how Norman Rockwell's family did it. The Cleavers? Cunninghams? The Berenstain
Bears? What I DO know is: "That was then. This is now". Parenting, the process of providing safe passage for another human
being from conception through adulthood in a 21st Century world, is not for the faint of heart. But you know what? BEING a
child can be very stressful these days…
Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
The nightly news
reminds us all too frequently of the fragility of the human spirit…but also of its extraordinary potential to process…
and to heal. Ongoing stress-management strategies and techniques are as essential to your own health as moderate, regular
exercise, good nutrition, satisfying work, recreation and meaningful, loving relationships. As you travel along your own road
to creating new healthy ways to cope with the unprecedented stress of an ever-changing world…don't forget to fasten
your kids seatbelts too!
"Children are not little adults."
The day-to-day stress experienced by children in their
own worlds, and those of the adults around them, can be devastating,. And the playtime pace and the innocence enjoyed by previous
generations is a thing of the past; at least as we knew it. Kids don't miss much. The need for caring adults to listen, and
to interpret and explain events in appropriate and comforting ways, is one of the greatest challenges to our culture today.
Family arguments, financial stress, scheduling hassles, adult depression, violence and substance abuse…even world events…all
are processed through the filter of a child’s eye perspective. Young children’s expressive language regarding
their observations and sensory experiences may be limited to dreams, drawings, tears, and tantrums or bedwetting, in some
7 Tips to Reduce Childhood Stress
- Daily quiet-time alone with a parent. (This time is sacred—no
interruptions.) Talk about how things are going.
- Share some of your own successes with small stressful moments,
to demonstrate that everyone experiences…and copes with stress. (e.g. "Today I was so frustrated, while my train was
delayed, so you know what I did? I opened my wallet and looked at your picture and it cheered me up! Then I remembered how
much fun that picnic was last summer, and how hard we all laughed! Would you like to go on a picnic this weekend?")
Be ready to really listen… between the words, without judgement. Be prepared for anything… without necessarily
being able to fix it. Sometimes the open sharing and acceptance of our worries has a way of dissipating them.
drawing, artwork and physical activities that are healthy, easily available ways to discharge anxiety and release endorphins.
Make it your business to monitor and restrict your child’s TV, movie and Internet exposure. Their psychological safety
is as much your responsibility as, say, fire-prevention.
- Ask your child’s teacher or a children’s librarian
about good "ice-breaker" books to open subjects that your child might need to talk about. (These talks work better during
the day than at bedtime…when there is plenty of time to process thoughts and share lovingly back and forth.
Always remember how intuitively gifted kids are, and that even when you think they do not understand the stress in your own
life, the household, etc…they are likely sensing and internalizing that tension on levels they may not be able to discuss.
Word About The Wonder Years
Teenagers wake up every day in a different body, and the stress inherent in adolescence impacts
many developmental areas:
- Self-esteem issues
- Peer pressure etc.
- Hormonal swings and awakening sexuality
Acne, perspiration, body-consciousness, etc.
- Academic pressure
- Social pressure to conform…or not!
- Temptation to experiment
- Family conflicts regarding school, authority and autonomy issues
single tip suggested above for younger children applies for teens as well. While many parents stay home until their children
are off to school all-day and then go back to work, I actually have a friend who renegotiated her professional hours when
her kids entered middle school so that she could be available after school to carpool, help with homework, sports, etc. She
explained, "In some ways they really need my supervision and guidance even more now than when they were little." Interesting
Take time to slow your child's world down and make it
a lighter, gentler, safer one. Give them language to communicate their fears and questions and secret wishes. You do not have
to do this important job alone. Many skilled professionals, seminars, articles and books can offer manageable strategies for
preventing, assessing and relieving stress in children. Talking with trusted friends is a great way to share what works and
avoid "re-inventing the wheel"…which is, after all… VERY stressful!
source: self growth.com