Excessive Worry or Fear
As children age and experience new challenges, it is common for them to experience fluctuations in feelings of worry or fear, at times causing significant distress. Self-esteem is typically highest in early childhood but can begin to decrease during the tween and teen years, which may increase anxiety around school or social activities with peers. It is typical for adolescents to feel anxious about changes to their body and appearance during puberty.
Tips for Management:
Parents may help youth establish healthy habits as resources to assist in regulating mood during periods of stress or worry.
- Healthy eating
- Physical activity
- Sleep hygiene
- Mindfulness or relaxation techniques
- Positive social interactions
- Limited media exposure
When to Seek Help:
Parents should take note when symptoms are persistent and lead to impairments in family and social relationships or academic performance. A medical professional should be consulted to assess the need for mental health evaluation and treatment, particularly if their child shows signs of being excessively worried, irritable, or displays symptoms of depressed mood as detailed above. Additional physical symptoms of concern include frequent panic attacks, headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue.