Anxiety is Causing Stomaches for my Five Year Old

by Tracy
(New Jersey)

My daughter is five years old. Last week, we changed her before and after school care placement. She is doing fine engaging in the morning activities, reports that she likes the games and will walk up to children she doesn't know and ask them if they want to play.

In the afternoon, it is a totally different story. Every day she has reported stomachaches, headaches and has chosen to lay down on the bench outside the play area rather than play with the other children. I know it is only one week today, but I am very concerned. We have talked about it and I get the same story that someone hurt her feelings; she didn't have anyone to play with, etc. Her classroom teacher (whom she adores) has even gone in there in the pm to check on her and reassure her. I don't want to punish her for feeling this way. I do not understand how to help her with the afternoon.


It certainly sounds like something is bothering your child and causing her to have headaches and stomachaches. It is important to address this because we want to teach her to express her feelings is the best way to get her needs met.

By this point, you have probably found a solution to this problem. I would focus on talking with her about how she is feeling, and how lots of people get sick when they are worried and scared or uncomfortable. I would continue on to tell her that it is better to get all the feelings out and figure out a solution than it is to keep the feelings in side. Once we get all the feelings out, then our body will get better and won’t feel sick.

Sometimes it helps to draw a picture with children and help them identify where in their body they are getting sick and what feelings and situations may have caused that sickness.

Good luck!

Kristen McClure

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