Many of you may be familiar with this statement: “Mom, my stomach hurts.” It’s a similar statement that my daughter tells me at the same time almost every night. She feels good all day, but when it’s bedtime and when I turn off the light, her stomach hurts.
As night falls, anxiety increases in many children. It’s dark, they are alone, there are no distractions. Working together to conquer her anxiety, she knows I will remind her that her stomach is actually just fine and it’s just her worry.
On the other hand, my son used to tell me his stomach hurt before school every morning. He was fighting with separation anxiety and did not want to be away from me.
Instead of explaining it to me, all he said his stomach hurt.
Why do kids say their stomach hurts?
Why do children say that their stomach hurts? The real reason is that their stomachs do actually hurt.
The stomach is home to the enteric nervous system and is often called your second brain. Big nerves and anxiousness create a real sensation in the belly area.
This leads to a cycle because as the anxiety creates a stomach ache, a stomach ache causes even more anxiety and it continues on.
One study found that more than half of people surveyed (51%) who experienced stomach pains as children ended up with some type of anxiety disorder sometime in their lives.
The most important thing in children is they often complain of stomach aches. They are not doing to attract attention. What happens is their body manifests their anxiety right in the pit of their stomach.
There are many different approaches to conquering kids anxiety.