Anxiety in children can occur at any age of the child. There are also several reasons why a child might suffer from anxiety. Many times children don’t even know why they are anxious or they are unable to express themselves. Because many children can not communicate their feelings well at younger ages, it is important to be patient with the child. When anxious, a child may bite their nails, pull hair, have speech problems, not eat well, have panic attacks, and exhibit many other behaviors.
There is not a one size fits all answer to dealing with anxiety. The reason why is because the triggering factor truly determines what steps to take. The first and foremost thing a parent should do is to make sure a medical problem is not causing the anxiety. Some children who have a disability or other medical problem could experience more anxiety than children who don’t have a disability. Once you are certain it is not a medical problem, you can determine if it is something else at home or school aggravating the anxiety. Besides probable medical problems, there are several other factors that could cause childhood anxiety such as:
- Environmental influences- Stress such as a death in the family can be an environmental influence.
- Fears/phobias- A child could also have a nightmare and be anxious for weeks.
- Psychological disorders- A symptom of many disorders is anxiety.
- Peer relationships- Bullying and friendship issues can cause childhood anxiety.
- Parenting style of the parent- A parent’s demeanor and parenting style can cause anxiety. If a parent is too domineering and critical, a child is more likely to be nervous.
There are several more reasons not listed. As a parent, your job is to first find out the source of the problem. Be open to what the problem could be, even if that means your parenting style. It is possible that you will not find what the root of the problem is. If and after you find the source of the problem then it is time to treat the problem. Stay tuned for my next post on how to deal with anxiety in children.