Anxiety is very much a physiological disorder and it might seem that it won't affect children.But it is not the fact and parents should be aware if their child is anxious. You might think you would know the child anxiety symptoms, but sometimes it is not. Sometimes, parents miss it altogether. Unfortunately, anxiety isn't always that obvious. Some children don't vocalize their worries. They don't show their fears. And anxiety isn't on their parents' radar. Here are child anxiety symptoms that are sometimes missed.
1. They refuse to go to school.
Your child used to love school. They've always had friends and they have always gotten good grades. Now it is a battle just to get them in the car. They tell you they don't feel well. Their stomach hurts. They say they are going to throw up. You keep them home, only to feel bamboozled because they seem fine shortly thereafter. You talk to the teacher and the counselor. Everyone swears up and down that your child has friends. That they are not being bullied. That they enjoy school. Weekends are pain-free. Your child seems completely healthy... and then Sunday rolls around. The cycle begins again.
2. They experience physical symptoms.
Anxiety isn't just in our minds, it is in our body as well. Here are a few examples: Your child won't poop. They have been constipated for weeks. You've been to the doctor and there is no medical origin. Your child's stomach hurts. They feel like throwing up. They are having gastrointestinal problems. You brought them to the pediatrician. You went to the gastrointestinal specialist. Your child has been poked, prodded and maybe even scoped. No medical origin has been found.
3. They avoid participating in activities.
Your child used to love soccer practice and now they are refusing to go. Your child said they wanted to take swim lessons, but after the first lesson you can't get them back to class. Your child always wants to stay home and refuses to go to restaurants and stores with you. When a child starts avoiding situations they used to enjoy, it is time to take a second look at why. It might be that they simply no longer like soccer or swim class, but it might be something more significant.
4. They are angry. Anger can be tricky.
Kids can be angry for so many reasons. They might have difficulty self-regulating. They might have a mood issue. They might have a hard time accepting no. But along with the usual contenders, it can be child anxiety symptom that's the underlining cause of anger too. If your child stuffs their worries way down deep, the only thing to bubble to the surface might be their anger. They come home from school ready to explode. Bedtime brings rage and resistance. New situations cause unusual hostility and defiance. Pay attention to when and why your child gets angry as it could be the key to unearthing the true cause.