9 common signs of anxiety in children that most parents are not aware of
A lot of young children suffer with anxiety, but sometimes the signs can be difficult to spot.
From researching common symptoms of anxiety in children I've come to realise that my own child might be dealing with it, which I never would have thought.
It's something that as parents we can easily overlook as a temper tantrum or over excitement, but can often times mean something very different.
Displays of anger and hostility that seem to come from nowhere can sometimes be a sign of a child with a nervous disposition.
The most natural way for children to react when they are over whelmed is by lashing out. If you find your child is prone to angry outbursts it could be a sign that they need help and reassurance.
Feeling panicked and unsure can often manifest itself in young children as the constant need to ask question.
I find myself all the time telling my son not to repeat the same question ten times in a row and had never considered this might be a sign of nervousness in him.
For children dealing with anxiety this kind of question asking is a way to put their mind at ease as they feel they have some sort of control over what is happening.
It's quite common for children to look for praise or reassurance, but if you find your child is constantly seeking validation it may be a sign that they have self esteem issues.
This kind of behavior is also common amongst children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Is your child attached to your hip? It could be a sign that they feel insecure and panicked.
A lot of young children will display some type of clinginess from time to time, but if your child is terrified of being without you it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
Avoiding the issue
I suffered with anxiety as a child and still do as an adult, and this is one problem that still crops up for me from time to time.
If your child seems to push away stressful situations and often procrastinates it may be due to feeling overwhelmed and nervous.
Avoiding hobbies or schoolwork that they feel they may fail at is a common coping mechanism for many children dealing with anxiety.
Feeling nervous constantly can begin to manifest itself in physical ways if not treated.
Many children suffering with anxiety will complain that they often have stomach aches which are caused by our body's natural response to what it perceives as a dangerous situation.
Struggling to sleep
This problem is something that both myself and my son share and something that most parents just put down to their child wanting to stay up past bedtime.
Trust me, as an adult who definitely wants to go to sleep at my bedtime, it's actually a sign of a mind that can't be quiet.
Anxiety causes the mind to race and children dealing with it can find it hard to shut off when it comes to going to sleep.
In a similar vain, an inability to keep focus can also be a sign of anxiety in young children.
If you find your child has trouble staying focused at one task at a time and or their teacher finds that they lack concentration at school, it could be another sign that their mind is in over drive and can't calm down.
Emotions from nowhere
One sign that might be a bit more noticable than others is uncontrollable emotions.
A child that bursts into tears out of nowhere or for the smallest reason may be dealing with undiagnosed anxiety.
If you feel like your child may be displaying one or more of these signs talk to them about how they're feeling or visit Parents With Confidence for more information on the subject.