As a parent to my teenage child, keeps me thinking whether I am parenting my child in a righteous way or not. At times, I too like any other parent try to be tough on my child if he does something wrong. But sooner or later do realise that he can be more sensitive and the impact can be negative at times. In today's society, we want our kids to be the best. There is constant pressure on them to perform well in the academics, in extra curriculum, sports or music. Psychologists have been saying that if parents are under stress and anxiety in a family, the children too will have stress in such an environment. I think every parent knows their kid well and their capabilities. Instead of comparing them with somebody else's kid, we need to be logical and encourage them to take up in whatever activity they choose.
Adolescence is a very crucial period in the child's development as he or she goes through the transitional phase from childhood to adulthood. Not alone physical changes, they undergo tremendous changes emotionally and socially. In the midst of these changes, every child develops bits of uncertainties and anxieties. They become more self conscious than before. In some teenagers, it becomes a chronic state; as such that he or she is unable to perform well in academics, become fearful to attend school, make friends or participates in any activities. At times, this fear and anxiety develops into panic attacks and phobias.
Experts and researches say that a young child who is too nervous and timid would continue to have these tendencies even in their adolescence and end up being frequently agitated and upset. Sometimes, adolescence anxiety disorder may lead to 'separation anxiety' for which the child would be fearful to leave home, resistance to attending school or perform in an independent activity. Such incidence can also be triggered in a child due to illness, divorce in family or death of a close relative. Some teenagers develop deep fears called 'phobias' that can be due to specific objects or situations. The specific object can be some unreal things, darkness, fear involving school, classmates or social performance. Excessive anxiety can even lead to suicidal tendencies.
Panic attacks are episodic in nature and usually in response to certain specific situations which is associated with extreme emotional and physical symptoms. Such attacks are more common in teenage girls than boys. During such attack, the child goes through intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms like chest pain, sweating, tingling and numbness in extremities. To avoid such attack, the teen tries to get away from his or her normal activities, daily routine which he or she thinks would trigger such circumstances.
We, as parents need to understand our children well and talk to them about their uneasiness and fears. I think if we listen to our child about his anxiety and fear, help him trace out the specific situations, half of the problem will be solved. In our attempt to help them, would give them the much needed comfort and ease to deal the situation. We need to praise our children in what ever activity they participate even though they may not necessarily succeed. A constant encouragement may boost up the child's confidence and overcome the fear and anxiety. But in spite of our effort, if the fearfulness exists for a long time, limit the child's activities, it is better to take professional help. The treatment of anxiety disorders involves with evaluation of symptoms in school and social context and the extent of interference. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps the teenager to anticipate the situation and understand the effects. Medical therapy (drugs like anti depressants) is also given in some cases. But we must know that the most important therapy is the constant support of the parents, teachers and a healthy social environment.
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A Medical Professional who likes writing on health related issues.