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Fear in Children

Fear in Children

School is in session and for most students the fall season is going well. Schedules have been adjusted, books have been issued, students have learned their way around campus, and teachers have connected names to faces. School is a safe, happy institution of higher learning – until something goes terribly wrong. Since August of this year there have been 22 school shootings, four of which fell between October 1st and October 18th. Elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities, in inner cities, upscale suburbs, and small towns have experienced school shootings; even our safest neighborhoods aren’t exempt from the horror. Going to school fearful that their school could be next is not something most children openly share with their parents and often those who do are told, “You don’t have anything to worry about” – but they do worry. “Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger. Traumas or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell.” The counselors of Improving Lives Counseling Services can help.

Identifying fear verses other school phobias can be challenging. Refusing to get up, purposely missing the bus, pretending to be sick, complaining about a teacher or a fellow student, and cutting classes can be a sign of fear. Living in constant fear can impact thinking and decision making, weaken the immune system, cause ulcers, heart disease, fatigue, and depression. Fear, regardless of age, whether real or perceived, affects a child’s performance and wellbeing. When random acts of violence occur, children can become “paralyzed with fear”. Providing extra time with a fearful child is good parenting, however school shootings affect children and parents alike.

School shootings are horrific events. Sheltering a child from media reports on school shootings is close to impossible. Children are observant. What they don’t see on the internet, on a cell phone, or on television, they hear about from friends, see on magazine covers in grocery lines, and overhear in conversations. Improving Lives Counseling Services’ trained mental health professionals successfully treat fear, phobias, and other anxiety disorders. Diagnosis and the development of treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s needs. Our counselors offer friendly, compassionate, and supportive individual, family, and group psychotherapy sessions. We have multiple locations throughout the area and are proud to announce the addition of online video counseling services. Improving Lives Counseling Services accepts most insurances and Sooner Care. Fear is real. Call us today.