The world is a scary place. Every day we see stories on the news about natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other tragedies. It's no wonder that children today are feeling more stressed and anxious than ever before. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 kids aged 3-17 have a mental health disorder.
The daily pressures of modern life are tough on many kids. They may feel anxious about school, friends or family issues. Or they may be grieving the loss of a loved one.
Anxiety and stress can manifest in many different ways. Some children may become withdrawn and stop participating in activities they used to enjoy. Others may have trouble sleeping or eating. And still others may act out in aggressive or disruptive ways.
It's important to help kids manage these feelings, as they can lead to serious problems if left unchecked.
In most cases, these are normal reactions to abnormal or unusual situations. If your child is having difficulty coping, there are some things you can do to help them.
When should parents seek professional help?
If your child is experiencing anxiety, it's important to seek professional help if:
They are not able to go to school or participate in activities they used to enjoy
Their sleep or eating habits have changed
They are acting out in aggressive or disruptive ways
If you're concerned about your child's mental health, talk to their doctor. They can refer you to a mental health specialist who can help your child with their anxiety.
Once the child has been taken in charge by a professional, or if the anxiety is mild and not disrupting, then apps can be considered to help manage the symptoms.
How apps may help kids
There are a number of apps that can help kids manage anxiety, stress or bereavement. Some of these apps provide relaxation and mindfulness exercises. Others offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. And still others allow kids to journal about their feelings.
The best app for your child will depend on their individual needs and preferences. But there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an app.
Make sure the app is age-appropriate. Apps for older children may not be appropriate for younger ones.
Read reviews from other parents to see what they think of the app.
Consider the privacy and security of your child's data. Make sure the app you choose has robust security measures in place to protect your child's personal information.
If you're not sure where to start, here are a few apps you may want to take a look at.
BoosterBuddy is a free app designed to help teens and young adults improve their mental health. It can be used by kids from the age of 3 (with parental supervision for younger users) to manage their personal wellness journey and earn achievements as their sidekick guides them through a series of daily quests designed to establish and sustain positive habits. It also allows users to keep track of appointments and medications, follow self-care routines, and increase real-life socialization.
Apart of Me is a role-playing game for bereaved youth aged 11 and over. It is a multi-award-winning therapeutic game that was co-created by experts in child psychology and bereaved young people. It uses bereavement counselling techniques and is designed to be a safe place for kids to process their grief. It offers progressive support in the mourning process, psychoeducation, as well as training in relaxation techniques. The app is also designed to help kids remember the person they have lost and understand their emotions.
Headspace: Mindful Meditation is a well-known app for adults, but it has a section just for kids. It can help kids relax, manage stress, and focus their energy. It offers guided meditation, sleep meditation, and breathing exercises. Headspace can be used by kids of all ages and can help them build a practice of mindfulness.
Calm is also a well-known app for adult, but it has a section just for kids: it can help kids relax and get a good night's sleep. It features guided meditations, sleep stories, music, and more. The app is also great for managing stress and anxiety. The Calm Kids section is perfect for kids aged 3 and up.
It's important to help kids manage anxiety, stress and bereavement as they can lead to serious problems if left unchecked.
There are a number of apps that can help kids with relaxation, mindfulness exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques and more. The best app for your child will depend on their individual needs and preferences.
If you're not sure where to start, above are a few apps you may want to take a look at with your kid.
Your health care professional can help you choose
Feeling confident is important. Get all the essential information about health apps by talking to your healthcare professional.
AppGuide provides reliable information about mobile health apps that allows patients and healthcare professionals to make informed, shared decisions about using a health app to track health status or act on your priority health goals.