If you have a child that you feel is angry or aggressive, they could be suffering from anxiety.
I love the saying that anxiety is “a great masquerader” because it’s such a spot on description. It can show up in many different ways and at many different times. So much so, that often the person it’s happening to can’t even identify it.
Especially a child.
Anxiety manifest itself in an upset stomach, a headache, irritability, breathing problems, fatigue and also anger.
You know very well the general idea of fight vs. flight, right? Your brain reacts quickly to decide how to respond to a threat. Does it retreat and avoid the danger or does it stay and fight it?
It’s usually pretty clear to us when anxiety is coming out in flight mode because the child tries to remove themselves from the situation and avoid it altogether. Hence the child that don’t want to go to school to avoid theirs separation anxiety or the child that stays in the corner at a birthday party to avoid their social anxiety.
Because the flight response looks, to our eyes, like fear, we recognize it as anxiety.
But the fight response can often be anxiety, too.
That same kid that begged mom to not take him to school because of his separation anxiety, would instead act out against the act of going into that building by pushing a kid as he enters. Or refusing to still in his chair or really do any task asked of them.
That same kid that has social anxiety at the birthday party may steal someones balloon or break someone’s new toy.
If we don’t identify that the real problem is that, for instance, he is excessively worried that people are making fun of him behind his back and that the slight hint of laughter tells him they’re all laughing at him, then we can’t fix the behavior.
There’s a reason why kids out, but we have to figure out what it is.
Your kid isn’t just a jerk.
But unfortunately, anxiety is. And it rears it’s ugly head in ugly ways. Sometimes, it’s anger.
If you think your child’s anger or aggression or just basic irritability, could be caused by anxiety, here’s the best thing we’ve ever found: a $13 workbook from Amazon called:
Of course, talking to a doctor about your concerns is always the best option.
♥ More Kids Anxiety Resources
- I partnered with the creator to give you guys a special discount. It cuts the price all the way down to $97. You can only get this price through my link. For the cost of one therapy session you can get everything you need to help your anxious child. It is so, so good.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.