Anxious 6-Year-old

Updated on May 29, 2010
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX
6 answers

My daughter is constantly anxious. She seems to worry about things that are way beyond her control, and way beyond the scope of things a 6-year-old should be worrying about. Lately her anxiety seems to focus largely on her sister's potty training- she is worried about my other daughter, age 3, getting into trouble in the bathroom. I definitely encourage my 3-year-old's independence so I will let her venture into the potty by herself, go to the bathroom, and wash her hands. She's been practicing for a few months now, so she's got it down pretty well. My 6-year-old goes into freak-out mode when it's the 3-year-old's potty time. She HAS to be right there, watching her, telling her what to do step by step. When I catch her doing this, I make her stay away. She freaks out and comes up with all these scenarios as to what could happen if she doesn't stand right there and watch her. She says "what if she flushes a whole roll of toilet paper down the toilet?" or "What if she doesn't rinse her hands all the way?"

Other sources of worry for her seem to stem from change- she tells me often that she doesn't want me to have any more children. She tells me often that she never wants to get married or be a mother herself. I have also gotten feedback from her teacher, who has noticed the same types of anxiety at school, but mostly in situations where she is being tested or assessed. She has a fear of giving the wrong answer, as if something bad would happen if she didn't answer a question correctly.

I should note that my daughter has never gotten in trouble for giving a wrong answer at school or at home! She has a good, loving, intact home.

I should also note that depression runs in my family.

I am afraid that this kind of stress is going to negatively affect my daughter and her success in the long-run. I have been going back and forth with myself on what to do. She has seen the school counselor a couple of times, but nothing really came of that.

Should I consider taking her to a child psychiatrist? Medication? Relaxation methods? What have you tried that worked or didn't work?

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So What Happened?

Thank you Moms!! It helps to know that other families are going through the same things we are going through. We are going to call a child psychiatrist and get her in as soon as possible!

More Answers



answers from Charlotte on


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Our son has OCD, which is a form of anxiety. He was also starting to show signs of depression (negative perspective on everything). He went on a medication called Celexa when he was five and it made a HUGE difference. The OCD symptoms are gone and he's a much happier boy. You want to take your daughter to a child psychiatrist for analysis and diagnosis. Call today ... it can take a long time to get in with one, so you at least want to get on the waiting list. The symptoms you've described are not things you can work out yourself -- believe me, we tried.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Look into the book "Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child's Fears, Worries, and Phobias" by Tamar E. Chansky. You probably can check it out at the library.



answers from Columbus on

We had a 6 year old with these kinds of issues, and let me reassure you, standard treatment by a Board Certified Child Psychiatrist is safe and effective and you will not regret it. If she is misserable, then take her to get treatment, and once you do, you will not think that it is anything other than a medical issue where the symptoms disapear once you treat it correctly. It is night and day, and mine never needed any alternative anything other than standard treatment for her brain chemistry that went a little haywire. Don't buy in that you are not feeding her right, your home is toxic, or that she has some deep emotional issue, for kids this young, she has a molecular issue and there is no shame in that. it is more common when you have depression in your family already, and the psychiatrist will tell you so.

Good luck! Ours is doing VERY well now, and she tried to regulate others bathroom issues too, a common theme! Yours will do fine too.




answers from Seattle on

This can be very stressful for you as well. Counseling and psychiatry are fine as a supportive measure, to be able to talk about things, but invariably I have seen they do not heal the root of the issues. Medication only suppresses the symptoms (like taking out the battery in a fire stops the 'noise' but there's still a fire) ...and are very toxic to the body. There are things like classical homeopathy which are natural methods to heal the root causes gently, effectively and permanently. Nutrition is also a factor to be discussed with the homeopath. I would also incorporate a way to do exercise or yoga/meditation, perhaps together.
Be well,



answers from Tyler on

My daughter displayed many of these symptoms plus a strong leaning toward perfectionism. I do not discount the value of counseling, but I would add to it teaching her about how God is perfect and in control so that she doesn't have to be perfect and in control. My daughter lived with fear of failure, so I had to teach her that failure is part of learning. The Bible is a storehouse of stories of people who walked this path. I don't know where you are as to Faith, but my daughter says it saved her life.

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