The problem of worry

Photo: iStock.com/RichVintage

Families glancing at the news find much to potentially worry about, especially during the current pandemic. Julie Robinson explores how parents can help children tackle their worries through greater perspective.

Families glancing at the news find much to potentially worry about. It is one of the challenges of parenting to help our children make sense of the world and train our minds so that we can be resilient at times of stress and achieve a balanced view of the world's threats. The management of a propensity to worry is an essential part of our emotional toolkit.

There might be a tendency these days for families to plug-in to individual devices, cocooned in media bubbles rather than sit around the dining table and share genuine conversation. Talking helps to get issues into perspective by sharing views and opinions and wondering about the reliability of our sources of information. Being a good parent means modelling being grown-up and helping solve problems. That includes developing mental resilience when external forces might be encouraging panic.

We are told by Anxiety UK (anxiety.org.uk): 'Recent research suggests that as many as one in six young people will experience an anxiety condition at some point in their lives, this means that up to five people in your class may be living with anxiety, whether that be OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), social anxiety and shyness, exam stress, worry or panic attacks.'

Julie Robinson is Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Schools Council (ISC).