When A Child Say "My Stomach Hurts" It Could Indicate They Have Anxiety. What Parents Can Do To Help
January 21, 2019 18:06 By Mambee
Young children usually don't have the tools to accurately express all their emotions. Their feeling happy, sad, angry, and so on, can be communicated to their parents in other ways.
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And in some cases, a child's demeanor would tell you what you need to know about how they are feeling. However, it may be more difficult to read signs of anxiety, and your child may also find it challenging to express. Therefore, they find some way to let you know.
Some children may say "my stomach hurts" at night time because they may be nervous about being left alone in their bedroom; they can say it before a school day as they may be experiencing separation anxiety.
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The stomach is home to the enteric nervous system. You can experience nerves and anxiousness in the belly area. That's why people may say such things as "my stomach is tied in knots over this."
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So, when your kid complains of stomach pain and you've ruled out a physical problem, you shouldn't just assume they are making it up. You can try the following:
- Find the cause: If your child is being anxious, finding the reason can help. You should address whatever fears they may be having, going to school or being alone in the dark, for instance;
- Stay calm: Children are capable of feeding off of your emotions. So try to maintain a calm environment without a lot of negativity. This makes them feel more secure and less prone to anxiety;
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- Be by their side: Believe in your child when they express anxiety. You should offer support as they overcome their fears;
- Don't play the blame game: If you have a particularly anxious child, dealing with that by blaming the kid, yourself or your partner isn't helpful. Be patient with your kid and walk them through those things that make them uncomfortable. Reach out for help if you need to, as it's crucial that you get support as well.
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Parenting a child with anxiety can be challenging, but you should remember to celebrate the small wins. Getting over their little fears will only make them more confident that they can tackle the big ones as they come.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.