Characters in picture books can help relieve anxiety in children, says study

Characters in picture books can help relieve anxiety in children, says study

Children too tend to suffer from anxiety for myriad reasons; however, unlike adults, they are unable to express their fears and problems. Anxiety is a big health concern among children today, especially due to the disintegration of joint families and the rapid progress in the field of technology. While science has proposed a variety of methods to alleviate anxiety in children, experts are now relying on the power of picture books to help them deal with anxiety.

Many picture books for children contain topics relevant to their lives like bullying, overwhelming emotions witnessed on the arrival of a new sibling, the impact of media, etc. The inclusion of stories on such pertinent social issues enable children to explore and express their problems. These stories empower children to discuss their problems, identify ways to alleviate them, and not feel alone in the fight against their fears, anxieties and other inner demons.

It also becomes easier to educate children through picture books about the various reasons for the rise of anxiety, and appropriate ways to tackle it. Medical practitioners, parents, etc. are using picture books as a tool to cope with anxiety and other associated issues. Parents and caregivers use picture books to strike a conversation over complicated and less-discussed matters with their children. Besides alleviating the existing fears and other negative emotions, picture books are essential for preparing children for any new event.

Let children open up through picture books

Still standing at the nascent stage of life, most children do not know how to define their fear or describe reasons that may cause them to reel under tremendous and recurring stress. Reading stories to them that talk about the struggles and problems of children helps overcome the feeling of loneliness among them.  They also realize the significance of sharing their problems with their loved ones.

Explaining how picture books can help children, Kerry Reed, youth services manager at the Tinley Park Public Library, said, “Children, like so many other demographics, need to see themselves reflected in books and movies. They need to know that they are not alone in their fears; that these fears are common and legitimate.”

Not much is known about the possible reasons responsible for triggering anxiety in children. These risk factors can be anything, ranging from fear of the dark or fear of sharing space with a new sibling to bullying in school. Children are able to deal more effectively with their resentment and terror harbored against a particular person, situation or thing by reading about the coping strategies employed by their favorite characters to solve their problems and allay their fears.

Reed continues, “When children have a story that reflects their feelings they can see that the character overcomes the fear and so can they. It empowers them. Even better, the story may provide a path or method for dealing with the fear and taking action. In essence, these books can give the reader — or listener — the tools with which to cope.”

Picture books titled ‘What’s worrying you?’ or ‘The koala who could?’ not only entertain kids, but also deal with issues intrinsic to the children’s mind. Parents reading such picture books to their children help them to realize a whole new world of opportunities or possible ways to solve a problem. Therefore, children who tend to panic over new changes and challenges find solace in such stories where characters of their own age are valiantly trying out new games or ways to overcome their hurdles.

Give wings to children

It is common for children to feel anxious when subjected to new and unfamiliar situations and circumstances. But in some cases, the level of anxiety is debilitating, thereby necessitating professional mediation by admitting affected kids at anxiety disorders treatment centers. Sovereign Health’s state-of-the-art anxiety treatment center in California provides personalized and evidence-based treatment options to patients willing to seek help.

For more information about various anxiety treatment centers in California, call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164. You may also look for professional advice concerning treatment at our depression treatment centers in California by chatting with our online representatives.

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