right from a toddler to an adult experiences anxiety at one time or the other
in their life and it is closely related to fear which is another normal and
necessary emotion that everyone experiences. Anxiety is often associated with
an anticipated fear of something happening in future and is very common among
children between ages 2 to 6 years. There are various kinds of anxieties in
children and their nature keeps changing with the child’s growth.
Is it ok to be anxious?
anxieties in children is not an easy job always. Sometimes, an anxious child
can show symptoms like crying and clinging behaviours and are usually seen in
new born kids. But not many children are expressive; most of them try to hide
their feelings as they find it too difficult to express it to others and may
end up in to angry tantrums or insolent behaviours. All these anxieties if
short lived are considered to be normal and parents need not worry as they will
reduce over a period of time. In fact, being anxious is beneficial especially
when facing a difficult situation and helps a child in preparing to face it.
a child is very young, fear and anxiety is accepted. But, as a child grows all
the fear and anxieties that were considered normal at the younger age may seem
less appropriate and might need your immediate attention.
Symptoms of an over anxious child:
- Tantrums and restless
thinking and self-criticism with over exaggeration of situations
- Continuous fear
of unknown things/situation
- Shows discomfort
in socialising with other kids
- Too much of
- Lack of
- Very demanding
anxiety prevents a child from enjoying a normal life and interferes in their
day to day life, as a parent you can help your child overcome it by following
the below steps: Help
your child overcome anxiety:
to forget, every child is different and will require different methods of
overcoming anxiety/fear. Allow your child a lot of time to express his/her
negative thoughts around anxiety/fear/phobia before you could come out with
more ways of overcoming the anxious behaviour.
- Take care of your child’s
daily needs and plan a daily schedule that meets the child’s basic needs and
avoid sudden changes.
- There are
various emotions and feelings that a child has to understand. You can help your
child identify and differentiate feelings through his/her own body like
butterflies in the stomach, tight hands, cold feet and etc.
- Give an ear to your
child’s feelings and never discourage their feelings.
- Make your child
feel that you are there with him/her in every situation by expressing yourself
through cuddling, singing, storytelling and many more.
- Respect your
- You are your
child’s role model; always showcase a brave behaviour in front of your child.
- Teach relaxation
skills like deep and slow breathing.
- Encourage “Feel
- Teach Problem-solving
Everyone, right from a toddler to an adult
experiences anxiety at one time or the other in their life and it is closely
related to fear which is another normal and necessary emotion that everyone
experiences. Anxiety is often associated with an anticipated fear of something
happening in future and is very common among children between ages 2 to 6
years. There are various kinds of anxieties in children and their nature keeps
changing with the child’s growth.
- Just born kids experience
“Stranger Anxiety” when confronted by people they don’t recognise and are often
seen clinging to parents/people they see on a regular basis.
- At toddler
stage, a child experiences “Separation Anxiety” when one or both the parents
leave the child in the environment he is not used to.
- Children in the
age group of 4 to 7 have anxiety for things that don’t exist in reality but
terrifies them like ghosts, monsters and zombies.
- “Social anxiety” is seen in
many children as young as 2 years and they often have the fear of meeting and
interacting with people and often have few friends outside the family.
What causes anxiety/phobia/fear?
makeup of a child:
many other traits that a child picks up from his/her parents, anxiety is also
one such trait that genetically gets transmitted to a child and are born with
anxious temperament and seem to be anxious of many situations without any
Transitions in the family:
the child grows up, he goes through a lot of transitions in the family that
could range from addition of a new member in the family to the loss of an
existing one. Anxiety can develop through transition from staying at home to
going to school and making new friends and mastering new tasks.
Disturbing incidents in the past -
family goes through multiple phases of life and there; will be instances where
parents might separate leaving the child in a confused and a traumatised state.
In many of the cases a child gets disturbed both mentally and physically when
two families (staying together as an extended family) gets separated after a
long time of staying together. Extended separation from the family members can
also add to the levels of anxiety.
incidents in the past - External:
are various external factors that can mentally affect the child especially when
he/she is growing up in a place where there is a probability of community
violence, natural disasters etc.
from the above mentioned broader categories, there may be various other reasons
that can make a child anxious, but not in a healthier way. Recurrence of such
behaviour can help a parent identify them and take necessary steps to overcome