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Kids' top 15 worries and how to calm them

Sometimes what might worry a child is obvious, such as an exam or traumatic event. Other concerns may be more subtle but still a big concern for a child, from bullying to falling out with friends or siblings.

It's important to let a worried child know other children have had similar concerns and that there is a way forward.

Here are some things children worry about, plus some tips on helping them cope.

Falling out with friends

Children can go from being inseparable friends one day to distant enemies the next. This could be due to all manner of things from misunderstandings to children being interested in different things and different friends as they get older.

Listen to your child's concerns and try to find out if the falling out could be patched up. Also let them know that not all friendships last forever and people sometimes move on. Bear in mind that the falling out could be just a text message away from the relationship getting back on track. Let a child know it is natural to feel sad, but those feelings will pass.

Sisters or brothers getting on each other's nerves

Falling out with siblings can be a natural part of growing up. Disagreements can be sparked by anything from a choice of TV programme to borrowed toys or clothes.

Try to talk over the differences and in a peacekeeper role get the family to work together to end the quarrel. Sometimes separate activities may help until things blow over.

Family worries

Any change to the dynamics of a family can be unsettling for a child, from parents' rows to divorce, separation and new partners. With parents minds on other things, familiar and consistent family life and rules can slip.

Try to talk to children about their concerns and reassure them that, arguments for example, are not their fault.

New arrivals in a family in the form of a new brother or sister, or the death of a relative such as a grandparent, can also be unsettling. Find an age-appropriate way to talk about a death in the family, even losing a pet.

Moving home

Sometimes a family has to uproot itself and relocate, perhaps for work reasons. Leaving the familiar home and friends behind can worry children.

Try to explore what they might be able to look forward to as well as any downsides. Will they be closer to a park or have a bigger room, for example.

School

Children spend a lot of time at school away from their parents and what happens in the classroom and playground can be a major source of concern for young minds.

Bullying

Children may bottle up worries about bullies at school. Let children know they can talk to you about anything, good things and bad.

Schools have anti-bullying policies, so find out how these work at your child's school.

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