POST # 1 What role and responsibility do the parents and caregivers hold in the development of pediatric anxiety? If you were working with parents/caregivers, how could you help them to establish a fostering and productive environment for a child experiencing anxiety? The relationship that parents have with their children is important and essential for positive physical and emotional development. This is really a nature versus nurture question, and I believe that both matters. While we cannot alter our genetics, and we know that neurotransmitters play a role in anxiety disorders, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) also can play a significant role in the development of pediatric anxiety disorders. Parents have a responsibility to care for their children’s physical and emotional well-being. Research shows that children need their physical needs to be cared for in a way that supports their growth and development and slides them from physical and sexual maltreatment (Breiner et al., 2016). Children also develop positive emotional, social competence when they are supported and witness positive interactions in these realms (Breiner et al., 2016). There are many ways that parents and caregivers can foster a positive upbringing so that children can meet their developmental milestones and develop positive coping mechanisms. If a child is experiencing anxiety there are many parenting interventions that can help. According to Goldstein (n.d.), a child psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders, setting clear expectations and establishing routines are helpful for children experiencing anxiety. You cannot eliminate anxiety, but you can help your child manage it by letting them know what to expect from situations, this will help anxiety decrease (Goldstein, n.d.). There are many ways that parents can help children experiencing anxiety, and strategies are not a one size fits all, it depends on the developmental level of the child. When parenting interventions are not working, seeking expert help is warranted. After reviewing the resources on ACEs, how might you change your practice based on the information you learned? What may be some barriers to enacting these changes in your current clinical setting? Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) undeniably have a profound impact on childhood experiences that carry over into adulthood. Both childhood experiences and parenting can have an impact on childhood anxiety (Platt et al., 2016). I utilize a trauma-informed care (TIC) approach in my practice with every patient. TIC uses an approach to understanding that ACEs and any trauma that someone experiences are pervasive, and TIC promotes an environment that helps heal and does not re-traumatize an individual (Leitch, 2017). One barrier to utilizing TIC is that it is not always easily recognizable in everyone. Children, in particular, do not have the developmental capability to recognize when trauma is happening to them. Does social media have an impact on children and adolescents who suffer from social anxiety disorders? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the use of social media, and advice that you can give to patients and parents regarding the use of social media. Social media can have a negative impact on children and adolescents. Social media can produce fear and anxiety in children as well as social media overuse (Hodge et al., 2017). Adolescents can replace social media with social interactions, creating a distorted sense of reality, and leading to social anxiety disorder (Hodge et al., 2017). Cyberbullying is a very real issue as well, which can contribute to depression and anxiety. Some advantages of digital media may include learning opportunities, social support, and access to information (AAP, 2016). I advise parents that the American Academy of Pediatrics (2016) recommends a limit of 1 hour a day of high-quality programming for children ages 2 and up.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). (2016). Media use in school age children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 140, 76-80. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-2592 Breiner, H., Ford, M., & Gadsden, V. L. (2016). Parenting matters: Supporting parents of young children. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children. Retrieved July 12, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK402020/ Goldstein, C. (n.d.). What to do and what not to do when children are anxious. Child Mind Institute. Retrieved July 12, 2021 from https://childmind.org/article/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-children-are-anxious/ Hodge, E., Bickham, D., & Cantor, J. (2017). Digital media, anxiety, and depression in children. Pediatrics, 140, 76-80. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1758G Leitch L. (2017). Action steps using ACEs and trauma-informed care: a resilience model. Health & justice, 5(1), 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40352-017-0050-5 Platt, R., Williams, S. R., & Ginsburg, G. S. (2016). Stressful Life Events and Child Anxiety: Examining Parent and Child Mediators. Child psychiatry and human development, 47(1), 23–34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-015-0540-4