Children and Anxiety

Feeling a little anxious about things going on around them is a typical trait in growing children. They are still exploring the ways of life and are having new experiences on a daily basis. This can invoke feelings of stress, inquisitiveness, pressure or caution. This, however, is a very normal thing, and the only time a parent must be worried is when this anxiety starts affecting their child’s wellbeing.

What Causes Anxiety?

According to leading child specialists, children feel different kinds of anxiety at different stages of growing up. A chid between the ages of 8 months to 3 years can have, what is called, separation anxiety. This can be detected when they cry or throw a fit when they are separated from their parent or caretaker. This is considered a normal stage of growing up and usually gets suppressed when a child turns 2 or 3 years of age. A problem occurs when this becomes a persistent problem even after this age bracket is passed.

Pre-schoolers also can develop certain fears while growing up, which usually go away over time. Some of the common fears include that of heights, falling, insects, loud noises, darkness and animals. Through these may not give anxiety to a child, they are said to be triggers which may lead to more significant issues later in life. Another major thing that causes anxiety in growing kids is the pressure of schooling, socialising and examinations. Children usually feel most stressed when they start their education journey because this is when they are introduced to a new environment and meet new people for the first time in their life without the presence of their parents. This stress may lead to anxiety issues.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Anxiety?

  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Phobia
  • Selective Mutism
  • Specific Phobia

Children with anxiety shut themselves away from the world. They don’t open up about their issues and don’t share things with even their parents. They get clingy, cry a lot and want to be left alone and not be a part of social events or activities.

Anxiety isn’t something that only affects a child mentally. It also has physical effects on them. Some of those include – jittering, feeling shaky, hot flashes, stammering or stuttering, getting short of breath, clammy hands and dry mouth.

According to the National Health Service of England, “Severe anxiety like this can harm children’s mental and emotional wellbeing, affecting their self-esteem and confidence. They may become withdrawn and go to great lengths to avoid things or situations that make them feel anxious.”

How Can One Help An Anxious Child?

Anxiety is one issue that can be dealt with through early intervention and proper diagnosis. Understanding the core of the problem and then dealing with ways of overcoming it will help your child much better and faster. Improve your communication with your child. A lot of these issues can be solved by speaking to your child and assuring them that they are in a safe space. Another sure-shot way of doing this is therapy. Therapy offers a positive environment wherein a child can grow and overcome his/her problems at a rate with which he is most comfortable. Over time, your child will be free from the strains of anxiety and will be able to live a happy and blissful life.

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