(Credit: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

“Lucy,” a shy, intelligent six-year-old, missed three days of school because she had stomachaches. The symptoms started the day after Lucy witnessed a loud argument while waiting for the bus with her babysitter. A “scary man” shouted at people waiting: “Watch out, you’re all going to be deported now!” Lucy didn’t know what “deported” meant, but she knew it was very bad. People told the man to leave and shouted insults at him that Lucy didn’t understand. The man finally left, shaking his fist and threatening “police action.” Lucy held her babysitter’s hand, looked up and noticed tears in her sitter’s eyes. Lucy’s stomach started to rumble. Sadly, cases like Lucy’s are becoming increasingly common.

I’m a child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with expertise in anxiety disorders. Since November’s election and the general political upheaval that accompanied it, medical professionals across the country have observed an uptick in agitation and anxiety among our young patients.

What do we know about how anxiety develops in children? And what can parents do to reduce it?

Kids take on the grown-ups’ anxiety

Strong emotions are contagious – particularly anxiety. And while anxiety spreads easily among us all, children …read more

Source:: Salon – Life

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