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Anxiety ‘Red Flags’ for Children

Children experience various states of fear and anxiety from the moment they are born. Sometimes it is easy to tell if a child is anxious by their crying and clinging behaviours. But sometimes it is more difficult.  Some children hide their anxiety because it is too difficult for them to express it to others. Some children turn their anxiety into angry tantrums or defiant behaviours.

  • Pessimism and negative thinking patterns such as imagining the worst, over-exaggerating the negatives, rigidity and inflexibility, self-criticism, guilty thoughts etc.
  • Anger, aggression, restlessness, irritability, tantrums, opposition and defiance.
  • Constant worry about things that might happen or have happened (worrying days-weeks- or months ahead).
  • Crying
  • Physical complaints such as: stomachaches, headaches, fatigue etc.
  • Avoidance behaviours, such as avoiding things or places or refusing to do things or go places
  • Sleeping difficulties, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, nightmares, or night terror.
  • Perfectionism
  • Excessive clinginess and separation anxiety
  • Procrastination
  • Poor memory or concentration
  • Withdrawal from activities and family interactions.
  • Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling asleep), frequent nightmares.


Books for children to help with anxiety