Recently, the Women’s Advisory Institute at Beacon Pointe Advisors hosted an event discussing anxiety among our children and the challenges this past year has presented.  As we embark on another school year, we thought it was important to keep the conversation going.  

Anxiety and mental health issues occur at all ages, whether it’s a child, adolescent or young adult.  Here are some important tips to help identify and address concerns:

Identifying anxiety

  • Pay attention to your children’s actions and, sometimes more importantly, inactions. Doing so can help you to identify that they may be anxious.
  • Anxious children may vocalize feelings of stomachaches or nausea or use other strategies and excuses to avoid facing fears that may be causing them anxiety.

Technology and social media

  • The immediacy of technology and games gives children smaller attention spans and can create atrophy for social interaction.
  • It is important to communicate with your children that much of social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives and doesn’t show the negative. It is essential to teach them not to compare themselves to others because of what they see on social media.
  • Parents should help their kids see how social media serves or disserves them. As a parent, you can be intentional about your social media use in front of your children.
  • Clear limits are helpful, such as no screens past 10 p.m. for teenagers.
  • Social media is like a chocolate cake – continual intake will never make you feel better, but there is nothing wrong with a planned time to sit and eat a slice of cake — everything in moderation.

Role of the pandemic

  • It is important to acknowledge potential trauma induced by the pandemic and allow the flow of feelings and discussion. Parents set the emotional tone for this.
  • College kids have been under added stress from constantly changing rules, lack of social interaction and peer-to-peer connection.

Additional tips for parents to help their children

  • As a parent, check your own anxiety and mental health because it will inextricably trickle into the lives of your children.
  • Openly discuss this past year with your children and what you have personally learned from it.
  • Remind your children that it is OK to feel anxious as the world re-emerges post-pandemic.
  • Parents can hold open conversations about their own anxiety and encourage children to stay curious about their feelings instead of pushing them away.

Our experienced panelists who were kind enough to share their wisdom, insights and helpful tips during our virtual event included: Courtney Harkins, a clinical supervisor at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California; Meredith Gerckens, a district-level administrator of school counselors for Nutley Public Schools in Summit, New Jersey; and Karen Moon, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist based in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Additional resources:  

Compiled by Michele Sarna, certified financial planner, in collaboration with Sara Drake, Alli Hillgren Warner, Commie Stevens and Jill Steinberg, all of Beacon Pointe Advisors. For more information, call (760) 932.0930 or [email protected].

Provided as information only and should not be considered investment, tax, or legal advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any type of investments. Asset Allocation, portfolio diversification, and risk strategies cannot assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment losses. Form ADV contains important information about Beacon Pointe Advisors, LLC, and may be viewed at:

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