Every Parent’s Guide to Pre-schooler Anxiety
Updated: Apr 1
Image Credit: Unsplash
There is a common misconception that children are free-spirited and carefree beings with no problems and worries.
That is far from being true! In fact, young children and pre-schoolers can suffer from anxiety.
This is especially true if your school-going infant experiences new encounters and start to develop new fears and phobias. Just like how you are anxious about your first day at work, your child will be anxious about their first day at school.
Some other common new encounters that may lead to anxiety include a new family member—this could be a helper or sibling—or seeing an insect or animal for the first time.
As parents, we want the best for our child. If you are concerned that your child may be developing anxiety, look out for these signs!
We will also be sharing with you some tips for you to help your child cope with his or her anxiety. So, stay tuned to the end of the article!
3 Signs that your child may have anxiety
1. Difficulty sleeping
I am sure many of us have had this experience before: we toss and turn in bed, anxious about our next day at a new workplace.
Young children can experience the very same thing. Anxious thoughts can keep your child awake past their bedtime, and may even be leading to nightmares that prevent them from sleeping soundly.
If you observe that your child has difficulty falling asleep, or that he or she wakes up multiple times throughout the night, this may be a sign of anxiety.
Practicing good sleep hygiene is a great way to confront this problem.
Your child’s pre-school also can play a part in helping your child fall asleep at night.
At Nurture Infant’s Tampines Preschool, we have designated areas for sleep and play in a double-storey building. So, you can rest assured that you child will have quality sleep!
2. Mood swings
When your child is anxious, he or she may be overwhelmed with fear, sadness, and other negative emotions.
This may lead to anger and an outburst that is incontrollable.
As parents, we know that an occasional tantrum is normal. But when tantrums are beyond the normal level, or if your usually mild and quiet child is beginning to throw tantrums over minute matters, this could be a sign of anxiety.
3. Not eating well
When we are plagued with work, we would skip a meal and have a loss of appetite. The same goes for children. If you see that your child is eating less or if they are rejecting some of their favourite food, this is a clear sign of anxiety.
Coping with Anxiety
If you have identified the signs that your child may be developing anxiety, here are some steps that you can take to cope with anxiety.
1. Find a safe space
What anxious children need is a calm, nurturing environment and a routine that they feel safe and comfortable with. The pre-school that your child attends plays a huge role in helping your child cope with anxiety.
By providing a warm, loving and interactive environment for infants, our childcare at Tampines does just that.
With daily routines that include structured activities and rest, as well as time for independent exploration and learning, your child will be less anxious as he or she learns to be more confident!
2. Check your own behaviour
Over-protective “helicopter” parenting can inadvertently reinforce children’s fears that the world is a dangerous place where everything can hurt you.
In addition, as the old saying goes, monkey see, monkey do! So, don’t just tell your child how to overcome emotions – show them.
When you get anxious, say it. Let your child understand your thought processes and how you are coping with the situation: “This looks a bit scary, but I’ll give it a go.”
3. Head out to play
Playing outside in a natural setting, like a park or a forest, can be a calming experience for your child. Contact with nature has been shown to reduce children’s feelings of stress. Time spent playing in nature can help your child to feel less anxious and more secure and calm!
At Nurture Infant House Tampines, we are located 1 minute away from a playground and 5 minutes away from greenery! It is literally a few steps away from outdoor play!
Remember, pre-schooler anxiety is completely normal! Rather than trying your best to eliminate anxiety, fears, and stressors, it is much more productive and healthier to learn how you can help your child express their worries and learn to cope.
For parents living in the east of Singapore and are looking for a childcare in Tampines, Nurture Infant House has had 31 years of experience in caring for your beloved children.
It is definitely one of the leading Tampines childcare centres!
Click here to learn more about our infant care centre!
You can also register with us here!
Feel free to WhatsApp us for more enquiries.