We do our best to keep up with our children’s behaviour and be attentive to their cues. Sometimes, their behaviour covers something deeper that they don’t know how to name or possibly don’t even understand. Read on to learn about the signs that your child may be experiencing high anxiety or anxious thoughts so you can help free your child.
8 Signs That Your Child Might Be Experiencing Anxiety Or Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety in children (18 years and younger) is on the rise.
Our world is changing and children are more exposed to news (both real and fake). Virus outbreaks, climate crisis, severe political situations and more add to the uncertainty many kids feel.
In schools, children feel the pressure to fit into social situations and keep up with the trends. They feel they are under huge pressure. Some children don’t know how to free themselves from anxious thoughts or don’t have the skills to communicate their feelings and emotions. They don’t know when or how to ask for help.
When Worry and Anxiety Become Overwhelming
Anxiety and worry are normal. However, once they become more intense and interfere with your child’s daily activities or with their ability to enjoy life, it is recommended you seek professional advice.
Children who experience anxiety will usually show it through their behaviour and the signs will be more noticeable with time.
When parents become frustrated with their child’s escalated negative behaviour, they will sometimes try to manage the behaviour with yelling and punishments. However, for the vast majority of children who experience anxiety disorder, anxiety or anxious patterns, yelling and punishment won’t change their behaviour or lessen the anxiety.
Below are some signs that your child may experience anxiety or have anxious thoughts.
Please note that this is an educational blog. If you think that your child is experiencing anxiety or is having anxious patterns – please consult a professional.
#1 Worrying A Lot Or Having Negative Thoughts
When you notice that your child is worrying a lot or has frequent negative thoughts. For example, some kids are afraid to get sick and talk about it often. They keep saying: “What if….?”
#2 Constantly Looking For Certainty And Assurance
When your child is constantly looking for the familiar and for outcomes that are known in advance. Also, when they are worried about trying new things because the outcome is not known.
- your child doesn’t want to try a new food because they don’t know if they’ll like it, or
- they are hesitant to go on a trip because they are not sure how long it is/if there is a certain animal/close parking spot/picnic tables, etc.
#3 Easily Getting Angry Or Irritable
Anxious children, or children with anxiety, are on high alert. They are in a state of fight-flight-freeze and, therefore, very easily get angry or irritable.
#4 Obsession with Dying
One of the worries common in children with anxious thoughts is dying. They may ask a lot about the subject of death. They want to know when someone (them or someone else) will die.
- Will it hurt?
- What happens after they die?
They may easily cry just at the passing thought of death.
#5 Poor Sleep, Nightmares Or Fear Of The Dark
For someone who experiences anxiety or anxious thoughts, the subject of sleep is quite sensitive. It is harder for them to relax their body and mind.
Another thing to consider–once the child relaxes, many thoughts come to their mind. If the child tends to have anxious thoughts, then bedtime can be a very scary time – lying down in a room with dimmed lights (or total darkness) while their anxious thoughts come to mind.
#6 Difficulty Concentrating
Anxiety is consuming, both emotionally and physically. With anxiety, our body is in fight-flight-freeze mode and we are constantly on the alert for threats. So, when it comes to concentrating, it is pretty hard to relax and pay attention to only one specific thing (work, academics, a game, etc.).
#7 Somatic Pain, Like Headaches and Stomachaches
Anxiety can also manifest itself in physical pain, the most common ones being stomachache and headache.
- Often when we feel anxious, we feel it either in our stomach (loss of appetite, feeling “butterflies” in our tummies, etc.).
- Headaches are very common as well and often occur when we feel stressed.
Always consult with your doctor when your child’s complaints of pain are reoccurring.
Children who experience anxiety or have anxious thoughts are seeking control. Doing something to perfection also indicates some level of mastery and control.
Although It is wonderful to strive to be better, when it becomes an obsession to achieve perfection, to the point of “over doing” something (like drawing a picture and erasing different parts of it over and over again because it is not perfect), or causes avoidance because the child is afraid to fail, or creates irrational frustration because the work or activity is not perfect, then your child might be dealing with anxiety or anxious thoughts.
Miri supports children and parents who experience anxious thoughts, helping them manage their anxious patterns.
For more information and to contact Miri Malkin @ Miri Malkin Hypnosis For Top Performance click below.