Childhood Anxiety

Anxiety:
What Does it Look Like?

Physical

  • Frequent complaints of headaches or stomachaches

  • Muscles constantly tensed

  • Can become restless, fidgety, hyperactive, or distracted

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Won't use restrooms unless at home

  • Refuses to eat snacks or lunch at school

  • Starts to shake or sweat in intimidating situations

 Emotional      

  • Cries often

  • Is afraid of making minor mistakes

  • Obsessive thoughts or behaviors, such as finger tapping, hand washing, etc.

  • Having tantrums or meltdowns

  • Extreme test anxiety

  • Extremely sensitive

  • Becomes grouchy or angry for no reason

  • Has phobias       

Behavioral

  • Asks, "What if?" constantly

  • Refuses to go to school

  • Isolates self

  • Refuses to speak to others

  • Overly seeks approval from parents or friends

  • Avoids social situations with peers, such as birthday parties, sleepovers, or play dates

  • Says, "I cant do it!" without a real reason

How Anxiety Feels to a Kid

Meet Avery! She is a wonderfully brave 8-year-old who volunteered to tell us what anxiety feels like to her. Most children struggle with describing what anxiety is like for them and what they need from others to feel better. Not all children can describe it in the same way Avery does here, but hopefully you can learn more about what the kids in your life feel when they are anxious and how you can help!

How to Help

Your Child Cope: Techniques to Manage Anxiety

Write it out - Throw it out: Have your child write out their fear and then throw it away. This gives your child the ability to control their fear and anxiety by physically tossing it away.

Talk to your worry: Create a worry doll, or have your child talk to their worry as if it was a separate person. This way, your child can express negative thoughts without feeling like they are attacking themselves.

Self-soothe: Have your child hold their own hands or rub their ears. This activates the nervous system in a way that increases the release of oxytocin, affectionately known as the cuddle chemical. This chemical can give feelings of safety to children and even adults!

Use the body: Have your child stretch or do yoga. This allows them to have more control over their body and understand it and where the worry affects them!

Nature & Natural Healing: Take your child outside to experience nature. This activity helps ground your child and expose them to tangible things instead of non-physical things such as worry.

Parenting Stress and Anxiety

Do you feel anxious about parenting

or related to your child[ren]?

Want more resources to help you

understand their needs?

Every parent gets anxious about parenting decisions, so you are NOT alone!

 

Check out our Circle of Security Parenting Group! Call our main office for more details! 315.342.9255

© 2016 Integrative Counseling Services, PLLC.

  • w-facebook