What Makes Kids Anxious?

Jenny was an anxious adolescent who was an outside the box type of teen girl with uniqueness’s that elementary bullies targeted. This caused her anxiety. When the Corona Virus caused school shutdowns, she enjoyed only online friendships with others having her same interests.  This reduced her anxiety but caused social isolation.  When in person school resumed she experienced extreme social anxiety and school phobia so her mom allowed her to return to online only school.  They came to us for help.

What Makes Kids Anxious?

Jenny was like many children who struggle with anxiety from bullying and other reasons.  Genetics is one reason kids may experience anxiety as anxiety occurs within the family tree.  If a family member has anxiety, your child is at high risk for developing anxiety.

Anxiety from Current Events

Another reason for a child’s anxiety is exposure to world events.  Children who have a predisposition for anxiety worry when the family leaves the television news on all the time.  Despite what some parents think, children listen, watch, and understand more than some adults acknowledge.  Hearing about college murders, war, and violence can create inner angst that manifests as kids not wanting to sleep alone or a general worry that something bad will happen to them or their parent when they leave the home.

Peer Influences

Peer influences also create anxiety.  When you were a child there was not so much technology access but now young kids are exposed to some scary games like Five Nights at Freddy’s, Slender Man or Amnesia.  Kids playing these games often develop fears that events in the games might happen in real life.

How to Help Anxious Children

What can you do to help your child?  First, limit access and prevent your young child from playing scary games. Second, only watch the news in a room where your child does not enter such as the bedroom. Third, if you recognize your child has anxiety read the book “What to Do You’re your Child Worries Too Much” to your child or buy your teen the book, “My Anxious Mind.”  If you want to learn more, read my book for parents Stressed Out! Solutions to Help Your Child Manage and Overcome Stress. Finally, seek professional help if your child’s anxiety starts to interfere with school or life at home.

Call to discuss your child as we test children ages 5.5 through college for dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and other processing disorders.  Call (561) 625 4125.