These are the signs of anxiety that are incredibly common yet so often overlooked in children.
I have suffered from anxiety from the moment I can remember. Unfortunately, my children are the same.
The Top 2 Signs of Anxiety In Children You Probably Missed
When your child starts to feel anxiety in their life, they can’t always articulate it to you. There are many ways you will know your child is feeling nervous about things, but there are two common phrases you will hear that you probably had no idea were screaming ANXIETY!
“My stomach hurts.”
Children complaining of a belly ache or that they think they are going to throw up is the biggest sign of all. Some people don’t understand how anxiety effects us physically.
Think about it: the last time you were nervous for maybe a big work meeting or a job interview, or perhaps before boarding a flight, did it make your stomach feel tangled up? I bet it did.
So very often kids don’t even recognize that they’re nervous, they just know their body is feeling weird. Most of the time, the place that will manifest is right in the stomach.
My daughter complains of belly aches constantly and since I know there is nothing wrong with her, I remind her “that is your worry,” that she isn’t sick at all and the feeling will pass.
“I don’t want to go.”
Since kids don’t always have the words to describe how they’re feeling, often they will refuse to go places in order to stay in their safe zone where they feel comfortable.
If you have plans to go to the movies and they suddenly, for no explained reason, don’t want to go, perhaps they are having anxiety about a big crowd.
Kids not wanting to go to school is often one of the first signs of anxiety. If they get test anxiety, or social anxiety it’s easier for them to just say, I don’t want to go to school.
Subconsciously, children will avoid situations and places they know trigger that icky feeling in their body. It’s important for parents to encourage getting out of their safe zone, because it will continually grow smaller and smaller until they don’t want to go anywhere.
What to do…
Once I found these signs of anxiety, one of the best things we did was work through a book called, What To Do When You Worry Too Much. I recommend this to everyone I talk to who has a little one with big worries.
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.