Child psychology

Anxiety in preschool and primary school children

Anxiety in children, being individualPsychological feature, is expressed in the propensity to agitate in a variety of situations. Children need to differentiate anxiety from anxiety. By itself, anxiety almost always manifests itself without significant causes and does not depend on a particular situation. Anxiety is inherent in the child's personality in any kind of activity.
Anxiety refers to an episodic manifestationAnxiety and anxiety, and anxiety is a stable state. For example, it happens that a child is worried when answering at the board or before a performance at a party, but this concern is not always expressed, and sometimes in such situations he remains calm. This is a manifestation of anxiety. If the state of restlessness is repeated all the time in different situations (during the answer at the board, with strangers), then this indicates the presence of anxiety.
When a child is afraid of something certain, they talk about manifestation
. For example,
, Fear of darkness.

The causes of anxiety in children

Anxiety in children is caused by the following reasons:

  • Violations in relations between babies and adults;
  • Improper education of children (parents often wish and demand from the child something that is beyond his power: good marks, ideal behavior, the manifestation of leadership among children, victory in competitions).

Excessive demands of parents for the offspringOften associated with personal dissatisfaction, as well as the desire to realize in his own child his own dreams. Sometimes overstated claims are also connected with other reasons, for example, one of the parents is a leader in life and has achieved material prosperity or high status, and does not want to see a "looser" in his child, presenting to him inflated demands.
Often, parents themselves have an increasedAnxiety and by their behavior set up the baby for anxiety. Often parents, trying to protect their child from imaginary or all real threats, form in him a sense of helplessness and inferiority. All this does not affect the normal development of the baby and prevents you from fully revealing, causing anxiety and fear even in simple communication with adults and peers.

Anxiety in preschool children

It would seem, what for to babies to worry? They have friends in the garden and yard, as well as loving parents.
Children's anxiety is a signal that in lifeBaby something goes wrong and how would adults themselves did not consol and did not justify this state without attention can not be left. And it does not really apply to a daughter or son, because at the preschool age, anxiety can occur regardless of the sex of the baby.
American psychologist K. Izard gives such an explanation for the terms "fear" and "anxiety": anxiety is a combination of some emotions, and one of the emotions is fear.

Can develop in
In any age range: So the kids from 1 to 3 years often have nightly fears, the fears of unexpected sounds are most often manifested in the 2nd year of life, as well as the fear of loneliness and the fear of pain associated with the fear of medical workers.
From 3 to 5 years, the children are noted massively fears of darkness, loneliness, closed space. The fear of death becomes the main, usually, experience in 5-7 years.
How to relieve anxiety in a child? This question interests many concerned parents.
Relieving anxiety in children - advice of a psychologist:

  • It is necessary to have a pet: Hamster, kitten, puppy and trust his child, but should help the baby in the care of the pet. Joint care for animals will help create a trusting and partner relationship between the baby and parents, which will help reduce anxiety;
  • Useful relaxation exercises for breathing to relieve anxiety;
  • If nevertheless anxiety is stable and persistsFor no apparent reason, it is necessary to seek help from a child psychologist to remove this condition, since even a minor child anxiety can subsequently cause serious mental illness.

Anxiety of children of primary school age

Age from 7 to 11 years is filled with fear notJustify the expectations of being a good child and remain without respect, understanding adults. Each child has certain fears, but if there are a lot of them, then they say about the manifestations of anxiety.
At the moment there is no single point of viewRegarding the causes of development of anxiety, but most scientists attribute one of the causes to the violation of child-parent relations. Other researchers of this problem include the emergence of anxiety to the child's internal conflict, which is caused by:

  • Contradictory requirementsAdults, for example, parents because of poor health do not let the child into school, and the teacher chides for the pass and puts the "deuce" in the magazine in the presence of other peers;
  • Inadequate requirements, often overstated,For example, adults constantly repeat to the offspring that he must bring the "five" and be an excellent student and can not accept the fact that he is not the best student of the class;
  • Negative demands, degrading the child'sPersonality and putting her in a dependent position, for example, the teacher says: "If you tell me who led the children badly in my absence, then I will not tell my mother that you had a fight."

Psychologists believe that boys are the most worried in pre-school as well as junior school age, and girls become anxious after 12 years.
In this case, girls experience more because of relationships with other people, and boys are more concerned about punishment and violence.
Girls, having made "unseemly" act,Worry that the teacher or mother will not think about them well, and the girl-friends will stop playing with them. In the same situation, boys are more likely to fear that their adults will be punished or beaten.
The anxiety of children of primary school age is usually manifested after 6 weeks after the beginning of the school year, so the schoolchildren need 7-10 days of rest.
Anxiety of children of primary school ageDepends largely on the level of anxiety of adults. High anxiety of the parent or teacher is passed on to the child. In families where friendly relations reign, children are less anxious than in families where conflicts often occur.
Psychologists found an interesting fact that after the parents divorce, the level of anxiety in the child does not decrease, but increases.
Psychologists found that childhood anxietyIncreases if adults are not satisfied with their material situation, their work, their living conditions. It is not ruled out that in our time it is for this reason that the number of anxious children's personalities is growing.
Parental upbringing, namely, authoritarian style in the family also does not contribute to the child's inner peace.
Psychologists believe that educational anxietyIs formed already at the preschool age. Often, this contributes to the authoritarian style of the teacher, overstated requirements, constant comparison with other kids.
Often, in the presence of a future pupilSome families throughout the year are talking about choosing a "promising" teacher and a "decent" school. Often such concern of parents is passed on to the offspring.
In addition, adults hire a teacher, who spend hours with them on assignments. How does the baby react to this?
The child's body, which is not yet ready and is not strong enough for intensive training, does not stand up and starts to ache, and the desire to learn disappears and anxiety about the forthcoming education is rapidly growing.
Children's anxiety can be associated with mental disorders, as well as with neurosis. In these cases, we can not do without the help of medical specialists.

Diagnosis of anxiety in children

Anxious children give off excessive anxiety,Often they fear not the events, but the very premonition of the event. Kids tend to feel helpless, they are afraid to play new games, start unfamiliar activities.
The restless babies have high demands, they are very self-critical. Level
They are low, they think that they are worse than others in everything, that they are stupid, ugly, clumsy. To remove anxiety in these babies will help the approval, encouragement of adults in all cases.
Alarming children are also characterized by somaticProblems: dizziness, abdominal pain, spasms in the throat, shortness of breath, headaches. During the onset of anxiety, children often feel a lump in the throat, dry mouth, weakness in the legs and palpitations.
Can identify an alarming person experiencedEducator, psychologist, teacher, observing the child on various days of the week, as well as during free activity and training, in communication with other peers.
The portrait of an anxious child includes the following symptoms in behavior:

  • Intense gaze in everything that is around;
  • Timid, silent behavior, awkward sitting on the edge of the nearest chair.

It is more difficult to work with a troubled person with a psychologist than with other categories of "problem" children, since this category keeps its problems to itself.
To understand the crumbs, and also to find out whatHe is afraid, it is necessary for parents, teachers, teachers to fill in the form of the questionnaire. The situation of anxious children's personalities will clarify the answers of adults, and observations on the behavior of the baby are refuted or confirmed by the assumption.
There are the following criteria for determining increased anxiety:

  • Muscular tension;
  • Constant anxiety;
  • Sleep disorders;
  • Impossibility and complexity of concentration on something;
  • irritability.

A toddler is referred to an anxious if there is always one of the listed signs.

Test for anxiety for children

Lavrentieva GP, Titarenko TM, suggested the following questionnaire for the identification of a child anxious personality
So, the signs of anxiety:
1. The kid is not able to work long, quickly gets tired
2. It is difficult to focus on a specific thing
3. Anxiety causes any task
4. During the execution of tasks the child is constrained and tense 5. Often embarrassed

6. Says that it's tense
7. It blushes in a new environment
8. Sets on nightmares
9. Hands are often damp and cold
10. Frequent disorder of stools
11. Sweats when agitated
12. Has a bad appetite
13. He sleeps restlessly and falls asleep for a long time
14. Shy, afraid of everything
15. Easily upset, restless
16. Often does not hold back tears
17. Can not stand the waiting
18. New cases are not encouraging
19. I'm always not sure about my abilities and myself.
20. Afraid of difficulties
Processing of data on the test is carried out as follows: for each affirmative answer plus is charged, and to get the total score - sums up the number of "pluses".
A high level of anxiety is indicated by the presence of 15 to 20 points.
The average level of anxiety is indicated by the presence of scores from 7 to 14.
About a low level of anxiety testifiesPresence of points from 1 to 6. In preschool institutions, toddlers often have a fear of separation from their parents. It should be remembered that at the age of two or three years this feature is acceptable and understandable, but if the baby in the preparatory group often cries at parting, never turning his eyes from the window and waiting every second for his parents, then this must be paid special attention.
The following criteria determine the presence of fear of separation, which were presented by P. Baker and M. Alward.
Criteria for identifying fear of separation:
1. Sadness at parting, recurring severe disorder
2. Anxiety about what can be an adult bad
3. Constant experience because of separation from family
4. Persistent refusal to go to pre-school
5. Fear of being and being alone
6. Insuperable fear of falling asleep
7. Nightmares, in which the baby with his relatives is separated
8. Complaints of malaise: pain in the abdomen, headache
Often, children who suffer from the fear of parting, and in fact get sick, if they constantly think of disturbing moments.
If over the course of four weeks three features appeared, then it is assumed that the crumb does have this kind of anxiety and fear.

Prevention and correction of anxiety in children

Most parents themselves do not notice thatAnxious children have become so because of their own misconduct. Having learned about the appearance of fears, parents either persuade the baby to calm down, or ridicule his problem. Such misconduct will only contribute to increasing fears and anxiety, and all the cries, remarks, deterrents will cause not only anxiety, but aggression in the baby. For this reason, it is necessary to reduce the number of comments to the baby's address and only talk quietly with him. You can not threaten, you should learn to negotiate before expressing your discontent and thinking about every word the offspring desires.
If an adult wants a child to grow upBalanced and healthy person, then in the family, first of all, there should be only a favorable psychological climate that contributes to the harmonious development of the individual. At the same time, if the crumb will trust the adult and talk about his experiences, then the level of anxiety will decrease automatically.
Prevention of anxiety in children includesDiscussion of all problems of the baby, communication with him, the implementation of all joint holidays, walks, outdoor recreation. Only adults and kids will be brought together by a relaxed atmosphere that will make them feel free.
Work with an anxious child is fraught with difficulties of a certain plan and, as a rule, takes a long time.
Psychologists recommend working with anxious children in three ways:

  • ;
  • Teaching the child to manage himself in situations of concern to him;
  • Relieving muscle tension.

Increasing self-esteem includesDaily focused work. The child must be addressed by name, even for minor successes to praise, mark them in the presence of other peers. Praise should be sincere and the child should know what he was praised for.
Learning to manage one's behavior includesJoint discussion of the problem. In kindergarten, you can do this while sitting in a circle, talking to the children about experiences and feelings in exciting situations. And at school on examples of literary works it is necessary to show to children that a brave person is considered not one who does not fear anything, but one who knows how to overcome his fear. It is advisable that all children say aloud about what they are afraid of. You should invite the children to draw their fears, and then tell them about them. Such conversations help to realize that most peers also have problems similar to those that are not unique to them.
Methods of correcting anxiety in children includeRefusal of comparisons with other children, for example, successes in studies, sports achievements. The best option is to compare the achievements of the child with his personal results achieved, for example, a week ago.
If the anxiety in the child occurs whenIt is not recommended to work on speed. Such children should be interviewed in the middle of the lesson, you can not hurry or adjust it.
Communicate with the anxious child should be done beforehand, having established contact with his eyes or bending over to him, or raising the child to the level of the adult's eyes.
Correction of anxiety in children includesWith an adult writing of stories and fairy tales. Even if the child ascribes the alarm not to himself, but to his hero, it can allow to remove the inner experience and calm the baby.
In everyday work with an anxious child, it is useful to use role-playing games. For the plot you can use familiar situations "I'm afraid of the teacher," "I'm afraid of the educator."
The removal of muscle tension can be accomplished using games based on the exchange of touches. Useful exercises for relaxation, yoga, deep breathing techniques, massage.
Remove excessive anxiety in the child is possible,Having arranged for him an impromptu show or a masquerade. Old old clothes and made masks are suitable for this. Participation in an impromptu presentation of anxious children will help to relax.

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