Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders among children and adolescents. In the United States, 7% of children 3-17 years old have a diagnosed anxiety disorder at any given time, and nearly one out of every three adolescents meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder by the age of 18. While some children with anxiety disorders experience general anxiety and worry about broad aspects of their everyday lives, others have anxiety about more specific situations, such as socializing with peers or separation from caregivers.
2021 data from Mightier families indicates that anxiety regularly interferes with daily living for more than half of Mightier players. However, many children with anxiety-related challenges use and find success with Mightier.
Mightier can help a child with anxiety
Families and caregivers report that Mightier is helping children manage their anxiety. Families who use Mightier observe their kids taking deep breaths to lower their heart rate and manage their anxiety about homework, athletic events, major storms, adjusting to big changes in school or at home, and more.
Mightier helps children who are experiencing anxiety improve emotion regulation by teaching their brain and body to respond differently under stress. Through a process of repetitive calming during gameplay, children develop an ability to remain in better emotional control from the start, return to a state of calm more automatically, and think and communicate more clearly despite stressful situations in real life.
Adults can help make Mightier even more impactful for children with anxiety
Parents who talk about Mightier and make the connection between Mightier and real-world situations, help their kids get the most out of Mightier. For caregivers of kids who experience anxiety-related challenges, this includes conversations about how anxiety works to raise heart rates and physiologically activate the body (fight or flight response), as well as explaining how Mightier helps to lower heart rate using deep breathing and other calming skills.
Caregivers of Mightier players who struggle with anxiety have found it helpful to work with their kids on identifying anxiety triggers and pairing Mightier play to these triggering situations when possible. For example, some parents have their kids play Mightier before doing homework and find that it makes homework less anxiety-provoking. Others have their kids play before bedtime, because that is when their anxiety is at its peak. Parents of children with anxiety related to leaving home and going to school, play before they leave to help reduce their stress.
Integrating Mightier in a child’s care system can also be beneficial. Whether it is a child’s teacher, therapist, or other family members- sharing Mightier can be helpful to create a common language and prioritize practice.
Ghandour RM, Sherman LJ, Vladutiu CJ, Ali MM, Lynch SE, Bitsko RH, Blumberg SJ. Prevalence and treatment of depression, anxiety, and conduct problems in U.S. children. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2018. Published online before print October 12, 2018