British parents fear news of Brexit and terrorism makes children anxious






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British parents are growing increasingly concerned about anxiety suffered by their children due to Brexit and terrorism. A quarter of British parents worry their children are anxious about Brexit and four in 10 think their kids are scared of terror attacks, a new study suggests. Parents also said their children were showing concern about ‘s presidency, the threat of nuclear war, natural disasters and global warming, revealed a YouGov poll commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation revealed. The study was launched by the mental health charity to develop a better understanding of how negative news and world events impact children and teens. Parents of children aged between five and 18 were asked: ‘Generally speaking, how anxious, if at all, do you think your child(ren) is about each of the following national/world events?’ One in three (32%) of parents said they thought their child or children were ‘very anxious’ or ‘fairly anxious’ about global warming, while 23% said the same in relation to natural disasters. Almost one in 10 (9%) thought their children were concerned about robots and automation, the study, which questioned 1,879 adults, showed. Some parents (13%) said anxiety caused by negative news caused their children to avoid public transport and crowded areas and a further 8% said their children had suffered nightmares as a result of following the news. Other changes in behaviour which parents said they witnessed included their children asking more questions (61%) or seeking reassurance (24%). Dr Camilla Rosan, a child psychology expert at the Mental Health Foundation, said: ‘We often forget that distressing world events can have a significant impact on the mental health of our children. This is especially true in the digital age where it’s no longer possible to shield our children from worrying or scary news. ‘Our poll indicates widespread anxiety among children – especially about the threat of terrorism. But the good news is there is a lot we can do to help children cope with scary events.’ She added: ‘Parents can really help tackle problems early and support good mental health for their children by talking about these issues in an open and honest way. ‘This lets them know that it’s okay to talk about scary or tricky subjects, and hopefully, will give them the confidence to talk about things that might be playing on their mind at other times too.’