Does my child have anxiety? What are the signs and what can I DO about it? 

According to the Children's Mental Health Report 30% of children and adolescents experience anxiety at some point but 80% never get help. Worse yet they report, "Untreated anxiety disorders are lined to depression, school failure, and a two-fold increase in risk for substance use disorder."

THE  REPORT CALLS ANXIETY "THE GATEWAY DISORDER."


So how can we recognize anxiety in our children? Childmind.org lays out these symptoms as pointers to a potential problem: 

  • Frequent visits to school nurse
    Your child may need emotional comfort more than a bandage. They may want to escape playground politics, rough play going on around them or simply want a parental, caring figure.

  • "My tummy hurts"
    It's widely known that stress can cause ulcers in adults and so, too, is the case for children. 

  • "My head hurts"
    Your child may say they have a headache. This is often caused by the clenching of the temporal muscles or jaw clenching which are common responses to stress. 

  • Muscle aches This could be "my legs hurt" or "my foot hurts."
    It may not be growing pains.

  • Avoidance
    Your child doesn't want to do gym class, go on the playground or even attend a birthday party. 

  • Angry Outbursts
    Anxiety is an intense emotion to handle. Angry outbursts that happen for seemingly no reason and that your child can't explain at all could be due to anxiety. 

  • Highly obstinate 
    Anxiety could be behind the stubbornness. Maybe they don't want to put shoes on because they are worried about where they are going. 

  • Shyness
    Shyness is one of the most common signs of anxiety. If your child is "shy" but you notice that they are also extroverted at home, the shyness may be down to anxiety.  

What to DO about it?


This information can be a bit overwhelming. And not all of these symptoms mean your child has anxiety. The first step is to have a conversation with your primary care doctor so they can talk about next steps and to get a medical advice. It's important to rule out a physical illness.

At Tribe Within, we recognize that many parents can see the signs of anxiety but still have no access to real helpful tools. We found that most online resources were aimed at parents, not children, and that the ones that were for children were limited in scope.

When it comes to childhood anxiety, the most important thing is regular attention to your child's mental health. This is why we developed our 
RISE membership club. Designed to ensure your child gets a chance to flex that social emotional brainpower and that you, as a parent, don't have to search the internet day in and day out looking for new worksheets and podcasts.

Learn more about RISE