Anxiety In Children – What’s Normal And What’s Not

children will often experience things that make them anxious. However, there is a difference between normal, occasional bouts of anxiety and long-term, ever-present anxiety. The former can be dealt with as it happens, while the latter requires treatment of some kind.

First things first. Knowing if your child has anxiety or not you need to know what anxiety is.

So just what is anxiety? 

Early in our collective history, things that we now label as stress, fear, and anxiety were useful survival mechanisms. If you heard a growling predator, then your body needed to react quickly.

It would instantly release chemicals and get ready for fight-or-flight mode. Those threats have largely vanished from daily life, but the reaction can be the same. To put it in another way, children with anxiety perceive threats that really aren’t that threatening.

Many parents are surprised to learn that children can suffer from anxiety disorders. Just knowing this can help you spot potential problems in your own child, and that is the first step in treating the condition.

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That doesn’t mean that every little thing should be taken as proof of a disorder, but rather that you may wish to consider an anxiety disorder as a possibility when you see a series of symptoms.

There is more than one kind of anxiety disorder, but they all come down to how the sufferer thinks. That’s not to say that they can control their thinking, but rather that they look at the world differently than other people.

If your child does have anxiety it is important to let them know that anxiety does not define them. Rather they just have to be aware that they do have anxiety and it is your job as a parent to make sure to create a safe space for them and let them know they are loved.

Fortunately, once it has been properly diagnosed, anxiety in children is highly treatable. Some parents are afraid to take their children to a psychologist or to give them prescription medication, but it’s a good idea to get the anxiety under control as soon as you can.

If your child does have anxiety it is important to let them know that anxiety does not define them. Rather they just have to be aware that they do have anxiety and it is your job as a parent to make sure to create a safe space for them and let them know they are loved.

Medication only goes so far in treating anxiety. When your child is in a situation where their anxiety may rise talk them through what they are feeling and going through and help them understand how to manage their emotions

Children need to be able to fit in with their peers, and this stage in their development should not be hindered by anxiety. Besides, taking care of the problem now means that they won’t have to suffer the effects of anxiety when they become adults.

Apart from being afraid or apprehensive, anxiety in children has other symptoms. These symptoms can be difficult to recognize because they are so often symptoms of other common health problems.

Here is a partial list:

  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Sweating

It’s possible that these are symptoms of other health issues, so they should be taken seriously. Consult your child’s pediatrician to see if there are physical health problems, or if it may be anxiety. Don’t try to make the diagnosis on your own.

It can be overwhelming finding out that your child has anxiety. It is important to show your child confidence and calmness when dealing with their anxiety so that they will be confident and calm when dealing with it.

Anxiety in children is a bigger problem than most people realize. However, there are many treatment options that you can use to help your child with anxiety.

Lastly, always let your child know that they are safe and loved. There are many amazing programs that you and your child can take to help them overcome their anxiety.

Check out The Anxiety-Free Child Program today!

Learn how to help your child overcome their anxiety in the comfort of your own home.

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Kara is the founder of the Dollar Mommy Club and a full-momma and who loves every minute of it. Ever since she was a little girl (around two years old actually) she has wanted a baby of her own. She even asked her mom for “a crying and pooping baby doll” for Christmas when she was just 6 years old. Certain events took place to where Kara was diagnosed with Endometriosis, and doctors told her that having her own children might be impossible. She spent years trying to figure out her health by trying everything under the sun that you can think of. It wasn’t until a few years after she was married that both she and her husband figured it out, and they were blessed with their first baby girl! When Kara isn’t managing the Dollar Mommy Club and it’s wonderful members and contributors, she enjoys spending time with family, binge-watching The Office on Netflix, and creating art.


  1. Thanks for explaining to me how important it is to tell my child that their anxiety attacks would not define them as a person. I can see how my daughter struggles every day to pretend that she feels fine in front of her parents but I hear her sob in her room every night. I think it’s time for me to have an open discussion with her and see if she wants to see a therapist for her condition.

  2. Having a child is very rough yet satisfying. Thank you for this Kara. Now that I have the idea about what anxiety is normal and not with children, I can manage my children better now.. Thank you very much. This is delicate topic but you delivered it so well.

    • Anxiety is a real problem in adults and children. Luckily there are so many ways to help children and adults overcome anxiety!

  3. This is such an important topic I appreciate because my oldest suffers from anxiety… It started when he was 11 and his dad unexpectedly walked out on us.

    • Man, I am so sorry to hear that…I am glad this post was able to help you. And best wishes to your oldest:)


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