Strict, regimented parenting could lead to anxious children, UoGuelph expert says

June 13, 2013

A prominent child psychologist told parents in Guelph that children need more creative, “self-reflective” time without set goals in order to overcome childhood anxiety. Dr. Brenda Kenyon, director of the University of Guelph's Center for Psychological Services, gave a lecture to parents on Tuesday that addressed the stresses parents face to be “perfect,” and the effects that strict regimens and anxiety in parents can have on anxiety-prone children. Studies currently indicate 6-10% Canadian schoolchildren suffer from some form of anxiety, and the numbers are growing rapidly. Kenyon noted that it can take up to 2 years for a child to be “medically diagnosed with anxiety” and that medicating children is “not often the answer.” She suggests cognitive behavioural therapy, with a 70% success rate, and that “parents need to realize and embrace the fact that they're human.” Guelph Mercury