When someone is dealing with anxiety, it can be difficult to spot the symptoms. This is especially true if a child is dealing with it. Statistics show that around 25% of children between the ages of 13 to 18 who suffered from anxiety did not have it treated. Because of this, they suffer from more anxiety as adults. The good news is that there are certain phrases that kids say that show they’re feeling anxious.
The feeling of anxiety is quite similar as it is for adults. Mood changes, fatigue, nervousness or shyness are some similar feelings. But unlike adults, kids may not know how to communicate their anxiety.
Because they are still very young, we have to pay attention to certain phrases kids say when it comes to spotting anxiety. Below are certain phrases that kids say that can indicate they’re feeling anxious.
What Is Wrong With Me: It’s normal to feel doubt in oneself, but not on a constant basis. If you notice that your child is constantly using the expression “what is wrong with me,” you might want to look for other signs of anxiety.
I’m Too Tired: As a child, I remember having a lot of energy. I would constantly be outside doing something active. If you notice that your child is responding with “I’m too tired” when you advise them to go play, it might be because they’re exhausted from anxiety-related issues. Going to school and trying to avoid bullies can be exhausting, especially if you know you’re still going to feel anxious when you get home. Out of the certain phrases that kids say, this might be the most common.
Don’t Make Me Go/Do It: If your child is constantly telling you this phrase when it comes to certain events, they may be feeling anxious about it. School is a perfect example; if your child is pleading with you not to make them go, it might not be because of their classes.
I Am Sorry: Apologizing when it’s necessary is polite. But when you notice your child apologizing too often, something might be off. Overusing the word sorry means you’re constantly feeling insecure and nervous that you’ve done something wrong. This is especially true for children, who are taught at an early age that they get punished for bad behavior.
I Want to Stay Home: If your child is suffering from anxiety, they may ask if they can stay home. The reason is that they prefer a known environment that is quiet. Being in your comfort zone is one way to avoid triggering anxiety.
I Don’t Want to Do It: If you notice your child is actively avoiding doing minimal interaction, they could be suffering from social anxiety. Anxiety will cause people to become tired of others, and would much prefer their alone time to think. Kids may not know how to express this, so they complain that they don’t want to go.
Can We Leave Yet: Going to a party while suffering anxiety can be difficult. For kids, they are usually forced to go and will immediately ask if they can all go back home. Adults know better and will try and stick it out, but kids do not possess the strength to do that.
Please Stay: It’s normal for a child to be attached to his/her parents. But if you notice that your child asks you to stay every time you need to leave, they might have separation anxiety.
Keep The Light On In the Hallway: It’s one thing to be afraid of the dark, but it’s another to be afraid of having nightmares about it. If your child already has a nightlight in their room and still asks to keep the hallway light on, they might be having sleep anxiety.
My Body Is Uncomfortable: When it comes to their bodies, kids shouldn’t be concerned with how they look. But if you notice that your child is constantly complaining about their body, they might be suffering from physical and emotional anxiety.
I Don’t Feel Good: If your child tells you he/she doesn’t feel well, there is a good chance they don’t. However, if you notice that they constantly tell you this in certain situations, something might be wrong. Take school for example; if you notice that they don’t feel well once a month, it could be because they’re anxious about a big test they might not be ready for.
A lot of phrases that kids say could be a sign of anxiety, but they could also mean nothing. It’s important to sit down with your child and find out what’s going on. As parents, you’re the first people they need to feel comfortable sharing emotions with. It’s also your job to teach them how to express and deal with these emotions.
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