AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - We must not forget, every generation grows up with some kind of fear. For some it was the Cold War, where they had to learn to duck and cover for a nuclear disaster. Other generations might have been afraid to fly, as they lived through 9/11, and now children are afraid they might get shot walking down the street.
“The one thing that we know is the biggest protective factor for any kid is adults that they can talk to that they feel comfortable with that they can be themselves around,” said Libby Moore the Chief clinical officer at Texas Panhandle center.
It is better to be prepared for a situation than to pretend it will never happen, said Moore. She added, you should also make sure to talk about how they may be feeling and talk through the fears and worries they may have.
“Help a child really try to understand what’s happening in the world today, because it does effect them. We learned that so much so through hurricane Harvey so many programs were made and created through the meadows mental health policy institute to help those children because of all the problems that occurred in the aftermath of trying to make since of what happened,” said Laura Street, Chairwoman of Panhandle Mental Health Alliance.
The other issue parents may face, is how do you tell your child to not worry and have a great day if they might also be stressing about their child’s safety as they leave their side.
“It’s not just one thing today, its several things and so the challenge for a parent or for an adult in trying to get a child to understand, be safe think about this, but don’t let it stop you from being who you are,” said Street.
Street explained, as you are having these conversations with your children, remember your anxiety can effect your child, so try to make the conversation informative without instilling more fear.
“I am not saying that a parent should ever stop talking to their children about the dangers our children might be exposed to, I’m just saying understand how to portray that and where the anxiety is coming from that might create anxiety in the child and fear in the child,” said Street.
Talking about events and how it makes children feel can help address mental heath as a child and could help them in the future.
“Shyness is a form of anxiety. Some children grow out of it and do fine, some children don’t and have panic attacks or depression or even greater anxiety as adults. If we can help children in the very in the younger years of their lives, then we can help with some of that anxiety,” said Street.