Children With Anxiety

Little Bodies, Big Emotions

Children experiencing anxiety often display a range of symptoms that can manifest in various ways. They may appear fearful and tense, exhibiting clingy behavior and struggling with separation from parents or caregivers. Sleep disturbances are common, with difficulties falling asleep or frequent awakenings during the night. Children with anxiety may find it challenging to concentrate on tasks due to their preoccupation with worries and negative thoughts, leading to avoidance of new experiences or stressful situations.

Socially, these children may struggle to join in social activities with peers, feeling self-conscious or fearing judgment. Physical manifestations may accompany their psychological distress. Physically, anxious children may complain of feeling sick, particularly experiencing stomach aches as a common somatic symptom. Additionally, they may exhibit irritability and outbursts, as anxiety can overwhelm their emotional regulation abilities.  Recognizing these signs early on is crucial for providing appropriate support and interventions, which may include therapy, behavioral techniques, and supportive environments to help the child manage their anxiety effectively.

Children may have trouble falling and staying asleep when parents are not in the room.

Complaints of feeling sick and stomach aches may arise from the physical stressors of anxiety.

Fearful, tense clinginess that causes stress and irritability may show up when the child has to separate from their parent for an event, such as birthday party or dance recital.

Child may be overfocused on fitting in, such as having the "right" outfit or haircut.

Developing your child’s regulatory skills will benefit them far beyond childhood.

Empower your child’s lifelong emotional stability through our parent program

Anxiety in children can be just as stressful for the parents, as it is for the child. Parents may experience distress hearing their child scream, cry, or be sad when they need to do activities independently. Parenting specialists at DBT Center help children develop their independence and emotional regulation skills through SPACE – Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions.  This program teaches parents ways of interacting with their child to help the child develop ways of coping effectively and building resilience. In this program, the parent is helping the child  to work through their anxiety. Thus the therapist works with the parent rather than the child. 

Addressing your child’s anxiety and other emotional distressors early in their life will empower them far throughout adulthood. This will empower them not only in their familial relationships, but as well with friendships, romantic relationships, and in the workplace. Empower their future by getting started at DBT Center today.