Childhood should be full of fun, adventure, and learning; but, unfortunately, for 1 out of 3 children it is also plagued with anxiety (Child Mind Report, 2017). Children suffering from childhood anxiety perceive more situations to be scary or dangerous, react more intensely to those situations, and find it harder to get their anxious feelings under control.
How do you know when normal fears and worries have drifted into more debilitating childhood anxiety? This is a question that many parents are struggling with.
Below are some of the more common signs of childhood anxiety?
- child feels anxious more often than other children of a similar age
- they stop participating in activities at school or socially
- child’s anxiety stops them from doing things that other children their age can do
- they experience fear and worry that is out of proportion to the issues in their life
Childhood anxiety can result in a child feeling more afraid or stressed than a situation would typically warrant. To compensate for this, children often work out ways to avoid the fearful situation. While this might work in the short term, avoiding the situation may cause them to miss out on a beneficial or growing experience and will most likely make it harder for the child to manage it the next time it arises.
Have you noticed that your child…
- clings to you often
- tries to get others to do the things they are worried about for them
- doesn’t want to get ready for school
- seeks reassurance often
- avoids situations they feel worried or scared about
- often complains of stomach pains or headaches
- dislikes taking risks or trying new things
- has lots of fears
- gets upset easily
- has lots of worries
If behaviors such as these are becoming common, then your child may be suffering from childhood anxiety. Please remember that you, your family, and your child are not alone! Carolyn Riviere-Placzek, LMFT, RPT, and her amazing team at Collaborate Counseling, are here to help you and your child identify and work through childhood anxiety. To learn more or schedule an appointment online or give us a call at 720-386-5131.