“Anxiety in children is originally nothing other than an expression of the fact they are feeling the loss of the person they love.” ~ Sigmund Freud
It is not only adults who suffer from anxiety. It is quite common in children, although it manifests in different ways and may occur at different stages. A newborn baby may not really notice who is holding him, or care, so long as he is comfortable. A few months later, the baby may begin “making strange.” This is an early form of anxiety about the unknown.
The toddler who resists going to bed and keeps calling for Mom or Dad may be experiencing separation anxiety. The child who is afraid of the dark, or fears monsters is anxious about what cannot be seen.
The older child who becomes afraid of “robbers” is experiencing the anxiety that comes from realizing there are “bad” people out there and we may all, to an extent be vulnerable.
All of these forms of anxiety are quite normal and generally are outgrown in time. The child needs lots of reassurance when experiencing these fears. Getting angry or impatient will only raise their anxiety levels.
More concerning is the anxiety that spills over into other aspects of daily living, and begins to negatively impact the life of the child. If worry thoughts interfere with schoolwork, the problem clearly is more serious. If fears hold the child back from normal activities, more help is needed.
The problem with anxiety is that it can tend to spread. As the child fears more things and restricts activities more, he/she becomes more isolated and dependent on having parents near. This then makes it even harder to step out into the world.
If reassurance and patience on your part does not seem to be making things better for the child, it may be worthwhile to seek professional help.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
Related MP3s Available:
My Special Friends (for Children)
Go Away Monster! (for Young Children)
Stop Worrying and Start Enjoying Life
Thinking for Yourself (Empowerment for Youth)