This is one of many nervous habits that children adopt. In North America, nervous habits are seen in about 60% of children at 8 years of age. Our modern, Western lifestyles aren't very suitable for children's mental health.
The solution to all nervous habits is to address the source of the anxiety.
Maybe have a less-intense schedule at home.
Maybe spend a little time evaluating the kinds of things being watched on tv, particularly real stuff like news, or shocking reality tv because they're not even pretending to be fake. Even animated material can be disturbing, even when thoughtful parents are watching along with and talking about the issues that come up. Generally, it's simplest to remember that to the child, even when it's drawings, what happens on their tv is happening in their house.
Be aware of the impact of the violence on the schoolyard on sensitive kids, even if it's not happening to him.
at 9:27 PM on Jan. 19, 2010