Your 4th grader may get stomachaches on big test days. Your kindergartener my panic over thunderstorms. It’s no secret that kids worry about little things, but some worry a lot! It can be hard on parents when they can’t comfort their child. Worse, if the child actually has some kind of anxiety disorder. We all feel anxious from time to time, but too much anxiety can interfere with healthy development. Learn how to recognize the signs that worrying may have developed into something more difficult to manage:
Detecting Anxiety in Kids
• When they have trouble separating from you:
Difficulty being separated from parents in early childhood is normal, but it becomes an imbalance for a child if he can’t be separated from you by age 7.
• Constantly worrying about grades or performance, practicing enough or constantly fretting about meeting expectations is a sign of over anxiousness.
• When kids are afraid of ALL dogs or mascots or bugs or the dark or something else, they can tremble, sweat, cry, etc. and develop a phobia about it.
• When an otherwise talkative child stops himself from speaking to others when he’s away from you, essentially muting himself, it can be a sign of severe anxiety.
Do you need help for this?
If you are very concerned about your child’s level of anxiety, you can have him evaluated. Start with your pediatrician who knows your child and get tips for things you can do to help smooth things out. If your efforts don’t help to alleviate your child’s anxiety, ask for a referral to a psychologist.
Source: The Child Mind Institute