Skip to main content

3 Subtle Signs of Anxiety in Children

The average child isn’t likely to sit their parents down and tell them that they’re struggling. Instead, they’re more likely to withdraw, cry, and meltdown whenever something goes awry. Often, we know when our children are hurting – we know them, after all. But anxiety is tricky and subtle signs exist as well.

So, what are the less obvious signs your child may be facing greater challenges than you’re aware? They include:

Anger: Anger in itself isn’t subtle – when your child’s temper tantrum involves lying down in the aisle of the supermarket whilst screaming at the top of their lungs, you’ll know. The subtlety lies in the reason for their outburst. A child who acts out, talks back, or says mean things may come across as angry, but – deep down – they may simply be scared.

Problems sleeping: Most kids are not thrilled with the idea of bedtime, my 2 year old has taken to running away at the mere mention of bed. Naps are even less enticing – sleeping during the day? Sounds amazing to me, but not so much to kids. Refusing to go to bed is different than not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep. It’s normal for a child to ignore rest in the name of their favourite TV show, but it’s not normal for them to toss and turn all night long.

Wanting control: Like anger, wanting control can be overt. It’s also something most kids want – toddlers? They’re all just tiny dictators, right? But a child who refuses to compromise or insists on their way at all times may be fighting a larger battle. Often, kids with anxiety feel as if they have no control. And that makes them want it more.

Everyone, including children, experiences anxiety from time to time; it’s a natural human reaction. But too much worry may be a sign of an underlying disorder. If you feel this is true for your child, seeking the opinion of a mental healthcare professional can help. They’ll be able to recommend treatment or point you in the right direction of things that you can do to help.

I also recommend teaching children the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping). This is a fantastic tool that can be used to help them overcome their fears and worries and builds their self-esteem. Feel free to contact me for more information on the technique or to book an appointment.


Hiya, I’m Karen, energy therapist and mind body expert for dynamic and ambitious women who are struggling with anxiety. I help them to get to the root cause of their anxiety so they can take back control other thoughts and be the calm and confident woman they want to be.
CLICK HERE to learn more

Follow us

The Emotional Guidance Scale

Are you feeling consumed by anxiety?

I’m giving a copy of my Emotional Guidance Scale worksheet to everyone on my Newsletter.  Join now to receive yours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *