Anxiety Could Be The Reason For Your Child’s Oppositional Behavior

Lukas on some days worries about things which he should not concern himself with much.  There are nights when he will ask so many questions about what’s going to happen in school the next day.  He is sometimes preoccupied with so many what ifs.  He worries that he won’t wake up early to make it to his class on time.  He fears what if the car won’t start or if his father forgot to pick him up, which never happened.  He worries about his homework, even worries about why a classmate did not show up at school.  


Some parents may think of this behavior as a typical part of his growing up and that the kid is justa good observant.  



Anxiety is an individual’s reaction to stress.   It could be manifested physically or emotionally, and the way he views his environment.  This is seen when Lukas worries about what might happen, fearing that something might go wrong, or there could be some kind of threat.  


Anxiety could serve as our body’s alarm system which turns on whenever we recognize danger or threat.  We may feel dizzy, sweaty, or shaky, and can even have a rapid heartbeat or difficulty breathing.   


Normal Anxiety

We all feel tense and uneasyfrom time to time, and this could range from a mild feeling of uneasiness to a full-blown panic.  


The kind of anxiety that Lukas experiences is the usual anxiety.  He experiences this because of fear that some situations that are not usual might occur, and he wants to be prepared for it.  He may also feel anxious during an exam which is kind of useful as it can motivate him to study harder to be ready for his test.  


Normal anxiety helps kids stay alert, focused, and willing to do their best. 


Anxiety Disorders

However, once anxiety becomes too strong and occurs more often, it can be disturbing.  It may interfere with your kid’s ability to get things done, and in some cases can restrict the child to enjoy parts of his life.  It can even result in him misbehaving.  


Sometimes, a kid has outbursts in school because he is upset by something or by a classmate who tends to hurt a classmate.   He can go ballistic, throwing things around, and running away quickly out of the room and down the hallway.  He may even hit his teachers and other authority figures in school if they try to restrain or discipline him.  


It may look to be some kind ofsevere anger issues.  A kid’s disruptive, oppositional, or aggressive behavior can be due to unrecognized anxiety disorder.  It is his way of reacting to the anxiety he is experiencing, which he cannot articulate effectively, and perhaps this is something that is not recognized in the home.


According to a clinical psychologist, a younger kid’s anxiety can be his freezing or clingy attitude.  To some, they can express it by having tantrums, complete meltdowns, and oppositional behaviors.  


Even the licensed professionals are not sure what causes anxiety disorders.  They say it could be genetic, brain biochemistry, stressful life circumstances, overactive fight-flight response, or could be learned behavior.  


Anxiety And The Oppositional Behavior

Anxiety caused by things that had happened in a child’s life – death of a loved one, parents’ divorce, moving in a new place, and even abuse – can make him more vulnerable to developing oppositional behavior, especially when the anxiety is not processed.  It could affect how a child views the world around him and treatsthe people in his life.  


The anxiety that results in oppositional behavior does not only disturb a kid’s day-to-day functioning in school, sleeping, and eating, but worse, it could affect him later in life.  


A child with anxiety often has uncontrolled temperament, trouble sleeping in his own room, the habit of avoiding specificactivities, and difficulty separating himself from his parents.  If you are noticing these signs in your child, it would be a wise move to have it checked early. 

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