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Mental Health

12 Things Kids and Teens Say That Could Mean ‘I’m Anxious’ – What They Mean and How to React


Childhood is full of many different experiences, and sometimes, kids feel anxious without us even noticing. It’s super important for parents, teachers, and anyone who takes care of kids to understand when a child might be feeling this way. This way, we can help them feel better and handle their worries. In this article, we’re going to talk about how kids show they’re anxious and what we can do to help them. We’re aiming to make everything easy to understand and to give lots of useful advice.

1. Understanding the Emotion – Feeling Sick to Your Stomach

Sometimes, when a kid says they feel sick to their stomach, it might be because they’re worried or anxious about something, not just because they’re actually sick. Feeling anxious can make our bodies react in different ways, and feeling nauseous is one of them.

How to Help:

Make sure to create a cozy and friendly space where the child can talk openly about what’s bothering them. By talking about their worries and what makes them uncomfortable, you can help them feel better.

2. Feeling Full – Not Wanting to Eat:

Sometimes, when a kid suddenly doesn’t want to eat, it might be because they’re feeling stressed or anxious, which can upset their stomach. Having meals at the same time every day and eating healthy foods can really help.

How to Help:

Create a loving and understanding environment where the child can talk about their feelings and thoughts. Discussing what might be causing these changes in their eating can help them feel more comfortable and understood.

3. Hesitant to Go to School:

Sometimes, kids might not want to go to school because they are feeling anxious about being around other people or are afraid they might fail. It’s crucial to understand whether a child just doesn’t feel like going to school or is avoiding it because of anxiety.

How to Help:

Have open and understanding conversations about what they are feeling and experiencing at school. Work together to come up with practical solutions and ways to deal with these feelings and make school a more comfortable place for them.

4. Understanding Sudden Angry Reactions:

Sometimes, when kids get really angry, it might be because they are feeling anxious or frustrated about something. It’s important to help children explore these feelings to support them effectively.

How to Help:

Stay calm and listen to what they have to say, giving them a chance to share their worries and fears, and helping them find a way to feel better.

5. Tackling the ‘What If’ Worries:

Kids with anxiety often worry a lot about “What if…” situations. It’s important to help them think through these worries with clear thinking and by remembering how they’ve solved problems before.

How to Help:

Encourage them to think things through and to use practical solutions to deal with their worries. Also, help them to get regular exercise to help manage their anxiety better.

6. Helping with Sleep Problems:

When kids have trouble sleeping regularly, it usually means they have a lot of worries. Teaching them ways to relax and clear their minds can help them sleep better.

How to Help:

Start calming bedtime routines and suggest thinking about happy, peaceful things before going to sleep, making sure their sleeping space is quiet and comfortable.

7. Dealing with the Fear of Not Doing Well:

Being scared of not doing well all the time can be really tough. It’s so important to remind them that trying and learning are more important than perfect results.

How to Help:

Celebrate their hard work, cheer them on to keep trying, and always be there for them. This way, they’ll learn that it’s okay not to get things right the first time and that making mistakes is part of learning and getting better.

8. Boosting Socializing:

Pulling away from friends can be a sign of feeling nervous around people. Cheer them on to spend time with friends and remind them of all the good things about them can make them feel more confident.

How to Help:

Encourage spending time with friends and talk about how good it is to have friends and connections. Give them the encouragement they need to try new things even if they feel a bit uncomfortable at first.

9. Encouraging More Movement:

If a child can’t seem to sit still and is always restless, it might be because their mind is very active. Getting regular exercise can help use that extra energy in a good way.

How to Help:

Encourage them to be active regularly and talk about how it can help them feel less anxious, leading them to feel better and learn more about themselves.

10. Navigating Close Attachment:

If kids always want to stay really close, it could mean they are dealing with separation worries. It’s helpful to support them in being more independent but also let them know they are safe and loved.

How to Help:

Keep goodbyes short and sweet, and cheer them on to try things on their own, always reminding them that you’re there for them and they have your support.

11. Introducing Being Present:

Helping kids learn to focus on the now can help lessen feelings of worry and physical discomfort.

How to Help:

Suggest mindfulness exercises and highlight the link between how they think and how they feel, helping them manage their feelings better.

12. Creating a Circle of Trust:

Having people to talk to is essential for kids dealing with worry. It gives them a place to share their thoughts freely.

How to Help:

Talk to them openly, let them know their feelings matter, and stand by them, helping them become stronger through challenges.


Growing up, kids might quietly face worries and fears. It’s essential to spot these feelings early and help them out. By creating a space where they can talk and feel supported, we can show them how to handle their worries. With care, understanding, and the right help, they can grow up strong and confident.

Final Thoughts:

This detailed guide offers a clear understanding of childhood anxiety, along with helpful solutions. It combines information, care, and practical advice, making it a go-to resource for parents, teachers, and caregivers who aim to support children through their anxiety challenges.