As a parent I often wonder if my daughter is overly anxious. I found the information below on the Raising Children's network website. It provides a good introduction as it identifies the types of anxiety at different ages and what may cause anxiety. The full article from the site can be found by clicking the link at the end of this exert.
Anxiety in children is a normal part of childhood development. But it’s estimated that 8-22% of children experience anxiety more intensely and more often than other children, stopping them from getting the most out of life.
Ages and stages
In most cases, anxiety in children and fears in childhood are fairly transient and short-lived. Different anxieties develop at different stages:
- Babies and toddlers might fear loud noises, heights, strangers and separation.
- Preschoolers might start to show fear of being on their own and of the dark.
- School-age children might be afraid of supernatural things (like ghosts), social situations, failure, criticism or tests, and physical harm or threat.
Infants and young children don’t tend to worry about things. For children to be worried, they have to imagine the future and bad things that might happen in it – this is why worries become more common in children over eight years of age
What causes anxiety in children?
Some people are more likely to be anxious because it runs in the family (just like eye colour). People can also learn to think and behave in an anxious way by watching others, or by going through scary experiences. Certain things in a child’s environment might also increase the child’s chances of becoming anxious – for example, if a parent is overprotective of a shy child it might help the child in the short term, but can increase the child’s anxiety overall.
If you want more information on anxiety in children please click here.