Who We Are | Friends and Supporters | You're Not Alone | We Recommend | My Child | Store

Search the Invest In Kids website.

Ages and Stages

What to expect and how you can help, as your child grows and develops.

Answers for Parents

Reliable information on a wide range of topics.

Home > My Child > Answers For Parents

My Child
Children Who are Anxious: Reasons why

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.

Related Content

Ages and Stages
Emotional Development: 12 to 18 months
Emotional Development: 18 to 24 months
Emotional Development: 2 to 3 years
Emotional Development: 3 to 4 years
Emotional Development: 4 to 5 years
Emotional Development: 6 to 12 months
Emotional Development: Birth to 6 months
What to Expect: 12 to 18 Months
What to Expect: 18 to 24 Months
What to Expect: 6 to 12 Months
What to Expect: Birth to 6 Months
What to Expect: Your 2 to 3 Year Old
What to Expect: Your 3 to 4 Year Old
What to Expect: Your 4 to 5 Year Old

Answers for Parents
Children Who are Active and Distractable: What to do
Children Who are Aggressive: How to help
Children Who are Aggressive: Reasons why
Children Who are Anxious: How to help
Children Who are Depressed: How to help
Children Who are Depressed: What is depression?
Children Who are Difficult: What to do
Children Who are Loners: What to do
Children Who are Shy: How to help
Children Who are Very Particular: What to do
Children Who have Fears: How to help
Children Who use Security Blankets, Pacifiers and Suck their Thumbs
Children Who Worry a Lot: What to do
Crying and Upset: Making it better
Crying: How to comfort my baby
Death of a Pet: Helping my child cope
Death of a Pet: My child's feelings and reactions
Death: Talking to my child about its meaning
Divorce: My child's reactions
Nightmares: Extreme nightmares, or 'night terrors'
Personality: Temperament traits
Personality: What is it
Personality: What is temperament?

Life with "The Zap Family"
Junior Zap Interrupts Mom
Toddler Zap Goes to a Party


We built this site for you. How are we doing?

tell us

Join Us
Helpful tips and parenting news delivered right to your inbox.

sign me up

Mini Poll
I think Canada values its young children.

Strongly Agree
Neither Agree Nor Disagree
Strongly Disagree

Help Us Help Kids
Donate Online

Your Child's First Five Years