Document Type


Publication Date



children's fear, recognition, emotional stress

Extension Number

ExEx 14060


Consumer Sciences


Give your children credit. They are more aware of what’s happening in your family than you think. Your children pick up on your moods. Are you trying to hide your worry over the economy, a possible job loss, or the stress your partner is under? Your children will be the first to know something’s not right—and begin worrying, too. And your children probably watch more television than you do; it is filled with reports of the poor economy and the high unemployment rate. Your children may come to fear that they could lose their home or have to move away from their friends. It is important to recognize that emotional stress can affect everyone in the family, from very young children to adolescents to adults. Despite age differences, there is a common emotional feeling of loss of control and loss of stability (National Mental Health and Education Center 2001). Because children often cannot express these feelings in words, their fears and stress are revealed in self-centered reactions.


Updated June 2009