Almost two-thirds (63%) of 10 and 11-year-olds says they worry ‘all the time’ about at least one thing to do with their school life, home life or themselves, a survey has found.
Children’s charity Place2Be surveyed 705 Year 6 pupils (Primary 7 in Scotland) in England, Scotland and Wales and found that children’s biggest concerns were their family, friends being okay, and not doing well at school. The results were released to coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week.
Additionally, 2 in 5 children said that their worries get in the way of their schoolwork, and 30% said that when they start worrying they can’t stop.
When asked how they cope with their worries, almost three-quarters of children said would talk to someone in their family, while 69% of girls and 60% of boys would turn to friends. Meanwhile, 65% of boys said they play computer games to cope, although only 39% of girls said this.
One in 5 children admitted that they often don’t know what to do when they’re worried.
But it also appears that many children know how they can help a fellow pupil with their worries – 84% said it was important that we are kind to each other. In addition, if a classmate is worried about something, 87% of children said they would ask them how they were, 84% would try to cheer them up and 85% would listen to them.
Place2Be’s chief executive, Catherine Roche, said: “We like to think of primary school as an innocent, happy time, but in reality we know that young children can worry about a lot of things – whether it’s something going on at home, with their friends, or even about bad things happening in the world. It’s perfectly normal to worry from time-to-time, but if these worries become more serious or persistent, it’s important that children know where they can turn for help.
“What’s really positive is that many children already recognise the importance of being kind to each other when times are tough. Even seemingly small things, like asking someone how they are or listening to them, can make a big difference. Schools and families play a crucial role in ensuring that children learn to look out for each other, and know how to get help if they need it. These are skills that will last a lifetime.”