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"Is anxiety common in young children?"


My 8 yr old child seems very anxious all of the time. Even when he's by himself. I have no idea why. Is this common in young children? He says it isn't anything at school. What should I do?


You are right to be a concerned parent. Anxiety can be present at any age group, but young patients will often display signs of anxiety as a sign of another issue that is ongoing, or as a sign of insecurity with regards to other issues that are occurring in his or her life. As children the age of 8 years old are beginning to understand that some things are not permanent, it can be a very challenging time for many of them.

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Your specific circumstances might also be affecting your child, as could the potentially complicated minefield that is elementary school. Open and frequent dialogue with your son is likely to not only identify possible causes of his anxiety, but also serve a therapeutic function by showing that you care and are a constant in his life. Other relatives and close friends can be beneficial for the same reasons. Your primary care provider, in this case, a pediatrician, is also a valuable source of insight in these specific situations. He or she will be able to speak with your son and should be able to say if it is a normal amount of anxiety, or if further visits or counseling might be needed to identify a treatable cause. Please speak to your pediatrician.

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