Chaplain’s Chat – Anxiety in Children

Anxiety in children is quite a hot topic in recent times. It is however, something that has been around for a long time. Fear and anxiety are connected and yet there are differences. Fear is a response to a threatening situation and the responses will be one of three – fight, flight or freeze. Anxiety on the other hand is False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.). An example would be: if I came across a venomous snake I would experience fear; however, if I could not do my playground duty because of my concern of snakes, that would be anxiety and phobia.

Anxiety is normal to a degree and many of us who have sat an exam or given a speech publicly may have experienced it. Anxiety disorders, however, are when the anxiety is so great that the individual is unable to function normally. It can take the forms of General Anxiety; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Separation Anxiety to name just a few.

There are many different strategies and resources available if concerns occur (and before) and I am happy to pass on some of these.

I have recently received information regarding a free trial online parenting program designed to provide parents (of 12-15 year-olds) with strategies to deal with adolescence, and protect their teenagers’ mental health. This program was developed by Monash University.

Christians also have the Bible to draw on with scriptures such as “Fear not, for I am with you, says the Lord.”

Jann Osborn
School Chaplain

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Orange Christian School