Shropshire Star

Star comment: Keep talking to help with children's anxieties

While the last few years have been a testing time for everyone, youngsters have arguably had it worse than most.

The pandemic saw thousands of school hours lost. Instead of being in the classroom or out and about with their mates, children were plunged into a new life of being stuck inside the house for months on end.

And after normal service resumed as far as their education was concerned, many youngsters have now been thrown into a state of anxiety over the cost of living.

For those living in a struggling household, times are particularly hard.

On top of all of this, children have to deal with the malignant force of social media and the constant pressure to conform.

A child who is bulled at school now no longer has the sanctuary of home because the bullying continues virtually.

Without the right support, it can seem like an endless cycle of misery.

For parents it can be a minefield, with the signs that anxiety is hitting not always obvious to spot.

Children often find it difficult to explain their issues. For many of them, the natural reaction is to close themselves off and hope the problem goes away.

This may well be a short-term solution, but any underlying issues are always likely to return at some point.

But there is plenty of help out there when you know where to look.

Some experts believe that techniques such as mindfulness and meditation can be beneficial when it comes to helping children with their mental health.

The most important thing is to make sure channels of communication are kept open with your child.

And if you believe there is a problem, seek help as soon as possible.

Early intervention can play a major role in preventing a crisis.


Have you been watching the BBC’s Happy Valley?

If not, the chances are you will have felt excluded from conversations when returning to work yesterday.

New figures reveal the show is likely to boast ratings of more than 10 million once iPlayer views are taken into account.

It is a big success story for the BBC and another feather in the cap of incredible screenwriter Sally Wainwright.

It is also heartening to see that, in the world of streaming and binge watching, there is still room for a the weekly screening of a scheduled drama series that has everyone on the edge of their seats.

Our terrestrial TV channels have a tough task competing with likes of Netflix.

But Happy Valley, which was jointly funded with a US network, is proof that great writing and performances will continue to attract large audiences.