Studies show more young children and teens are feeling anxious

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 4:56 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Russian attacks on Ukraine and the pandemic, studies show more young children and teens are feeling anxious as events continue to unfold around the world.

Experts suggest having an open conversation with your child and asking them what they have already heard, to alleviate specific concerns or fears.

“You know, we can talk about how sad the war is going on,” said Valerie Meyers, Therapist and Owner of The Kids Therapy Center. A lot of kids might get stuck or could get stuck or fixated on that. Could that happen here or whatnot, you know? And I usually just tell parents that we can’t say that it won’t happen here, but say that that’s not something for them to worry about that we’re safe right now.”

As an educator of more than 40 years, Dr. Karen Dukes said, conversations are important as kids are bombarded with images, videos, information and misinformation on social media.

“You’re dealing with kids with these iPhones and they’re, they’re on TikTok. They’re on social media, even if it’s certain avenues, even if they’re in that they have the blockers, but they are just seeing, in my opinion, they’re seeing too much, they know too much and it is a bit much,” said Dr. Dukes.

Another tip, avoid overexposure.

“I usually tell parents to keep their day-to-day lives as normal as possible, keeping the news out of their lives. If you’re having a conversation with a friend or whatnot to maybe not have that conversation around your child, unless it’s a healthy conversation, just because we don’t want them to be worried or stuck that there’s something else big that could be happening,” said Meyers.

Also, don’t be afraid to seek further support if your child is struggling. Finding a therapist, counselor, religious leader, or other trusted adult professional can be immensely helpful as children and teens navigate through today’s world.

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