Fears and Anxiety in Childhood

Although it is thought that fear and anxiety affect people negatively, it is a natural feeling that allows us to exist and survive in the face of any danger.

Which of us hasn’t been worried when we’re stuck in traffic trying to get to a date? Have you ever been worried while working on a project that needed to catch up?

If we list similar examples from daily life, your answer will be yes to one or more of them. Have you thought about how the anxiety you feel in these situations affects you?

Anxiety is like an alarm system; It ensures our harmony with the outside world, has a warning and activating feature against dangers.

If you didn’t feel anxiety or fear about being late for an appointment, would you set out before the appointment time? If you weren’t worried about the negative reaction from your boss if the project didn’t catch up, would you work overtime just to get it done?

I do not think so.

Before examining the anxiety in children, I wanted to say that for us adults, a little of the anxiety will benefit us, but most of the anxiety will harm us.

The benefits and harms of anxiety and fear also apply to children. A child’s anxiety about failing to prepare for the exam encourages him to study, but when this anxiety is felt intensely, symptoms such as tremor in the hands, nausea, headache before or during the exam harm the child. Can we say that a little of anxiety is a benefit and a lot of harm?

There are developmentally expected concerns in childhood; Such as school anxiety of a 2-year-old child, a 5-year-old child’s fear of extraordinary beings, and a 12-year-old’s fear of changes in his body.

Just as no emotion is abnormal, there is no ‘abnormal’ state of anxiety and fear.

So, how do we know when a child is anxious?

Anxiety manifests itself in three ways. The first is thought-based; The child constantly thinks of catastrophic scenarios. For example, loved ones can get sick, what will I do if my mother dies, what will I do if a thief breaks into our house and kidnaps us.

Second, the body reacts to intensely felt anxiety. Like a child with school anxiety feeling nauseous and nauseous every morning.

Third, anxiety is reflected in behavior. Such as the refusal of the child with exam anxiety to go to school, the child with school anxiety not wanting to go out of the house.


Separation Anxiety: Not wanting to be separated from the caregiver is a state of anxiety felt when separated. Separation anxiety can start around the age of 2.

Specific Phobia: It is the anxiety or fear of any object or situation. You may have heard of the character that children are afraid of lately; MOMO ☺ We can also put fears such as cats, darkness and lightning in this category.

Social Anxiety: Difficulty or avoidance of communicating with peers or adults. They are often described as ‘shy’ in the environment. What other people think is very important to them. Concerns about not making any mistakes while communicating are high. Children with social anxiety also have difficulty speaking in class, making presentations, and asking for a voice in a crowded environment.

General Anxiety: Children who tend to have anxiety in all areas have a lot of disaster scenarios. We can tell from the questions they ask. They are likely to ask questions such as “Who will take care of me if you die?”, “Where will we live if there is an earthquake and our house is destroyed”, “Who will take care of me if I get sick”.

The anxieties mentioned above are the most common concerns in children. There are additional concerns. The duration of each child’s anxiety, methods of coping with it, and situations that cause anxiety are different.

As soon as you realize that your children have difficulties in coping with anxiety, getting help from expert psychologists will increase your child’s quality of life. Let’s not forget that a little of anxiety is beneficial, most of it is harmful.

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