Anxiety is a mental health concern of the modern era, and it’s been making headlines for these reasons. Understanding this mental state is important to children’s development. Anxiety can change how a child feels about themselves in the world, how they socialize with others, and their ability to comprehend difficult concepts. As a parent, you want what is best for our kids, so it’s imperative that you are aware of anxiety and its effects on your children so that you can better support them as they grow into full adults. Here are ways in which anxiety affects children’s development.
#1. Influences a Child’s Ability to Learn
Anxiety can affect a child’s ability to learn in many different ways. For example, anxious children are more likely to have trouble concentrating and focusing on a task. These children would do better to take breaks from studying during which they can relax, re-energize and return more focused on the task at hand. This may be difficult for children with anxiety, especially if they are worried that their friends or teacher will find out something embarrassing about them.
#2. Causes Problems with Socializing
Anxiety can make a child withdrawn and isolated, making it difficult for them to be successful when they are expected to socialize with others. Anxious children often feel like something is wrong with them or that they have done something wrong, which can overwhelm them. Children need love and support that comes from their parents and family members. This type of love and support is important in helping kids with anxiety to help them model the self-confidence that anxiety can take away from a child.
#3. Causes Confusion with Sensory Perceptions
Anxiety can cause children to have difficulty focusing on their senses like sight and hearing, especially when anxious about something. For example, a child feeling anxious may see a person’s shadow on the wall as a monster or become scared by sounds that go “bump” in the night. These sensory perceptions make it difficult for them to concentrate on more appropriate objects or people. This can lead to even more anxiety because they cannot fully process what is happening around them.
#4. Causes Confusion With Cognitive Functions
Anxiety can lead to confusion with cognitive functions, which is not an uncommon cause of concern for young people today. When children cannot properly understand certain concepts they are studying, it can make them feel inadequate or stupid. This can make them withdraw from their studies and become less interested in schoolwork. As a parent, you have a responsibility to help our children to overcome their anxieties and understand difficult concepts so they can become successful adults. Children need us to guide them to learn skills and develop their intelligence so that they can recognize that they are capable of becoming financially independent, whether they choose to go on to college or not.
#5. Can Lead to Depression in Children
Anxiety has been shown to increase the chances that children will develop depression. Depression is a mental health concern that can have negative effects on a child, including issues with focus, concentration, and memory, as well as the development of issues such as anorexia, substance abuse, and suicide. For instance, a child that has depression because of anxiety may have trouble focusing on their homework and remembering what they are being taught. They may also develop feelings of isolation, anxiety, and fear that can cause them to become even more depressed. As a parent, you want to help them avoid becoming depressed, so you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression to promptly address any issues that arise.
#6. Can Cause Children to Become Self-Conscious
Anxiety can affect a child’s ability to be sociable and comfortable with others. They may become overly self-conscious of their appearance or worry that others are negatively looking at them. This can make them anxious about being in groups, using the restroom, and dressing up for certain events. This can lead to social anxiety, making it difficult for them to interact normally with their friends. For instance, if a child becomes overly self-conscious about their weight, it can cause them to become withdrawn or even engage in unhealthy dieting behaviors.
#7. Can Cause Children to Become Hypervigilant
Hypervigilance is an anxiety symptom that makes children hyper-aware of their surroundings, especially those who may look at them negatively. Children tend to withdraw from social situations and have difficulty communicating with others in large groups. This affects their development by making it more difficult for them to gain confidence in their social skills.
Anxiety can cause a child to become withdrawn from their friends and family and make it difficult for them to develop skills that would help them become successful adults. Anxiety can also cause children to have difficulty focusing on their studies, preventing them from succeeding in school. It is imperative that parents place a high priority on the emotional health of their children so that they can be encouraged to overcome the emotional effects of anxiety.