Children’s anxiety is increasingly a concerning matter that needs addressing. They also have worries, fears, and hopelessness from time to time. During their development, children feel afraid and sad due to many reasons.
If you care for examples, then toddlers are one that we may look at. Toddlers feel afraid and distressed at the thought of being away from their parents. Although such fears and sadness are common, however, if the fear and sadness persist, it could be due to depression and anxiety.
The reasons are the involvement of feelings and thoughts, which are called internalizing disorders. So, what are the causes of children’s anxiety? Please go through this article to learn more about the same.
What Are The Reasons For A Child’s Anxiety?
Similar to adults, it is common for children to feel anxious and depressed. However, when it starts interfering with their development and well-being, anxiety takes a toll on children.
The main problem is that most of us have no clue about what caused the anxiety in the first place. The first stage of anxiety among children is during the age between six months to three years. During this phase, they suffer from separation anxiety. They are afraid to be away from their parents and tend to act clingy.
When children enter preschool age, they develop different fears and phobias that relate to certain things. Some examples of things they develop a phobia about are – animals, heights, storms, water, insects, blood, and the dark. However, as they grow up, these fears start to subside.
However, once they overcome these fears, new ones start to grow in their places. For example, children become afraid of going to a new school or attending exams. Some of them are also shy around people and in social situations. When offered support, they can also overcome these situations.
When Is Children’s Anxiety A Problem?
The reasons and examples explained before are some of the instances of children’s anxiety. Since most of them subside with time and through the child’s development process, there is no need to worry. However, problems start to appear when these problems do not outgrow the fear. They become more and more intense, getting in the way of the children’s development.
In time, anxiety gets in the way of their daily routine. For example, sometimes, they feel extreme anxiety during the day of exams. During those days, some children are very afraid to go to school.
As it grows stronger, children’s anxiety can hinder their emotional well-being and affect their self-esteem and confidence. They become more withdrawn and feel anxious, making them avoid certain situations.
What Causes Children’s Anxiety?
While some of them are usually more anxious and sensitive from the moment they are born, some children develop anxiety over time. Some of them are more able to cope with them, while some of them are not. Also, being around anxious people makes children pick up anxious behaviors.
However, usually, some stressful environments are also responsible for children developing anxious behavior. Here are some of the reasons that cause anxiety among children.
- Frequently moving from one house to another or from one school to another school.
- Parents arguing, or fighting can also develop children’s anxiety.
- Serious illness or any injury or accident may also cause anxiety among children.
- Issues related to their schools ( exams or bullying) may also cause anxiety.
- Being neglected.
- Death of someone close.
Some children tend to have more problems with anxiety compared to others. Children with ADHD and autistic spectrum problems tend to have more problems related to anxiety.
Different Childhood Anxiety Symptoms
Young children don’t know ways of expressing anxiety since they cannot understand their emotions and express their feelings. However, they show some signs.
- First, they become irritable, clingy, and tearful.
- They find it difficult to sleep.
- Having bad dreams.
- Waking up in the middle of the night.
- Wetting the bed.
Here are some signs of children’s anxiety visible among older children –
- Inability and lack of confidence to try new things. They find it difficult to face everyday challenges.
- It is difficult for them to concentrate.
- Sleeping and eating disorders.
- Anger outbursts.
- Having negative thoughts and feeling like bad things are going to happen to them.
- Avoiding daily activities like doing homework and avoiding going out with friends.
Ways To Help Children With Anxiety
Here are some of the ways to help children who have anxiety.
1. Understand How They Feel
Parents can take different measures to help their children’s anxiety. First among all the solutions is to understand how the children feel. As a parent, you should talk to your children about their feeling and listen to them. You should understand their feelings first and recognize them without any questioning.
2. Help Them Understand About Anxiety
If your child is older and able to understand, you can explain it to them. You should explain how anxiety affects their physical attributes and their lives. You can resort to explanations like – it is a wave that sways you and ebbs away again.
3. Help Them Find Solutions
You should also help them find solutions regarding anxiety and see how they can apply them. You should recognize their condition and let them overcome difficulties that stop them from doing routine work or attending different social gatherings (even a sleepover).
4. Create A Calm Environment
Create a calm and relaxing environment at home. This includes reducing noise, avoiding chaotic situations, and setting aside time for relaxation.
5. Teach Coping Strategies
Teach your child relaxation techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, or yoga. Help them practice these techniques regularly, so they become a habit.
6. Promote Healthy Habits
Encourage your child to exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep. These healthy habits can reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being.
7. Seek Professional Help
If your child’s anxiety becomes severe or interferes with their daily life, you should seek professional help. A mental health professional can work with your child to develop coping strategies and provide additional support.
When it comes down to a severe case, parents must seek professional help to help reduce the effects of their children’s anxiety. I have discussed different ways of dealing with childhood anxiety in this article. Some of the solutions given here should also help children with anxiety to reduce its effects.
However, please contact an expert if it leads to severity. I hope that this article was helpful. Please use the comment box to leave your queries if you have any.
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