Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Children

Nannies and Au Pairs: Have You Cared for a Child with Anxiety?

In the March 2010 Be the Best Nanny newsletter we discussed common childhood and more anxiety disorders that might require the care of a physician.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive worrying about a variety of events, occurring more days than not for at least six-months.

Children with this disorder worry excessively about a number of issues, including past conversations or actions, upcoming events, school, family health, their own health, competence in sports or academics, and world events. Typically, children experiencing such excessive worry find it difficult to control the amount of time that they worry, and the worrying interferes in their daily life.

The anxiety and worry are associated with at least three of the following six symptoms:

  • restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
  • being easily fatigued
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • muscle tension
  • sleep disturbance

Have any of the children you have cared for suffered from generalized anxiety disorder? If so, how was the child treated?


  1. What about stomach aches, crying a lot, and pain in the chest? He can get irritable about clothes not fitting perfectly and stuff like that. But our biggest symptom is a boy that cries at the drop of a hat and gets stomach aches when he is nervouse. He worries constantly. I think he should be evaluated.

  2. Having a schedule helps my charge a lot. Also the dr helped us identify the boy's triggers. I spend a lot of time helping him with deep breathing excercises. We discuss new situations over and over always thinking of the worst case scenario and then that makes it easier. For example, worst case scenario of getting a haircut would be the hair dresser cuting him so he bleeds. Well, that won't happen because she is cutting hair. Next, if she were to cut him then she will give him a bandaid. But hair doesn't bleed. Next, cut hair is itchy…and so on…

  3. I must admit that I am ashamed but I am not as patient with an anxious girl I care for as I should be. It just is annoying sometimes. I honestly have not taken all her worries seriously because I know at my age it's no big deal. But if it makes her nervous I should be more patient and try talking and breathing like described. I won't say our names for confidentiality.

  4. One could look at some of the things that they feel anxious about and think, yeah been there done that when I was a tween and teen too. So I think there can be a side of us that wants to dismiss these things.But I also think back to how it was when I was a kid in favorable ways, there didn't seem to be as much pressure as there is now to make the grade because the school needs to make the grade in the eyes of policy makers and state tests. Kids have a lot more homework it seems. Or there are parents who feel they need to be in sports, music, arts, … and so they are so over programed. If they aren't doing that then they should have play dates, etc.Then there are some parents that some of us may or may not have worked for that are so image conscious about how their kids look and dress too. Their weight, their hair. (I had a mom comment on how much she didn't care for her toddler daughters naturally curly hair and needed to get her into a salon soon to do something about it.) And they openly express negative comments more easily on anything and everything than they do they positive as the kids get older.Sometimes I think anxiety disorders can be minimized with self esteem building, teaching kids not to sweat the small stuff, and just let them be kids.

  5. One of my charges (8 yrs old) has anxiety but I do not think that's what the parents would call it. She is afraid of going in elevators and on escalators. Malls, resterants, stores that are crowded make her sweat, get nautious. I just try to get her away from crowds and some fresh air.

  6. If you suffer from anxiety, true relaxation can seem hard to achieve. Eliminate Anxiety Hypnosis can help you to experience deep, restorative relaxation. The program can help lessen anxieties, enhance clarity of mind and boost productivity.

  7. Anxiety disorder occurs when there is a high level of stress. There are many symptoms of anxiety disorder which includes fear, irritability, fatigue, sweating, insomnia, diarrhea etc. People with this disorder face struggle in making decisions and are always confused and pessimistic. It affects their personal, professional and social life. There are various treatments available for treating this kind of disorder.

  8. People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder also have more tendencies to come in conflicts with other people. They are also very hard on themselves and they choose to evade situations that result to fear, worry or anxiety.

  9. Lisa, The causes of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have their root in very real molecular biological causes. with GAD are less able to regulate their response to negative emotions.

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