It's quite normal for young children to have fears - of loud noises, monsters, falling into the toilet or even Santa Claus. Some children are more anxious than others, and their anxiety may make them withdraw, or may make it harder for them when they have to adjust to new places, people and activities.
An anxious child may hang back from other children, preferring to be on the edge of the group, or alone, or may try to avoid new situations entirely. This kind of anxiety is more than typical shyness, and shows up in about 10 to 15 per cent of children.
While you may never know for sure why your child is more fearful than others, here are several common causes of children's anxiety:
- Some children are born with a very reactive nervous system. As a result, they are more prone to anxiety. This means that it may take very little to make them anxious, their anxiety can be more extreme and it may be hard for them to calm down afterward.
- If you as a parent are anxious, your child may pick up on your anxiety.
- Your child may have had a really frightening experience and not had the opportunity to face this and get over it.
If you find that your child's anxieties are really affecting how your child sleeps, eats and plays, or they really start to worry or frustrate you, consult your child's physician.