We recently wrote a blog on anxiety in children; the causes, the signs and what you can do to help. To follow up we thought we’d look at the role technology can play in helping to reduce anxiety and stress before it becomes a problem.
There’s no denying that most of us are totally addicted to our mobile devices, and many of our children are too. While that can bring with it its own problems, there can also be a plus side. With the ever increasingly popularity of apps, it’s good to know that some are being produced specifically to deal with mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety. There are also many that focus on encouraging mindfulness, in adults and children.
Headspace for Kids
Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow are meant to swear by the adult version of this app, and now there is a child friendly option too. For kids, there are five main themes: kindness, focus, sleep, calm and wake-up. Each section focusses on a different area of wellbeing, with a wide variety of age appropriate content available.
For example, young children will be asked to imagine their tummy like a balloon as they engage in the breathing techniques. These can then be scaled up and turned in to longer, more meditation based sessions for older children.
Reviews for this app have been brilliant, with many parents saying it is a real lifesaver when it comes to the pre-bedtime routine. When children can have a trouble-free sleep they are automatically less stresses, and better able to cope with anything life throws at them.
Asides from being a great app, this features penguins, and who doesn’t love a penguin? The premise of this particular app is to allow children to understand that their moods, and more importantly their feelings, are influenced by their thoughts, even if they are not aware of what’s going on.
The four positive penguins take you on a journey to help you understand that feelings arise from your thinking and if you challenge your negative thoughts successfully you may be able to see things in a more realistic and even optimistic way.
This is particularly great for 9-11 year olds.
This app is ideal for children between 6 and 16 years old and is an opportunity for them to write down their worries in a diary format. They can use the app to help them work out strategies and ways of dealing with the worry directly.
For children on the younger end of the age scale this can be a great app to use as a family, discussing worries and working out the various ways they can be dealt with. This can then encourage children to find healthy coping mechanisms whilst they are young, which they can use throughout their lives.
You never know, you may even learn a thing or two in the process as well.