Anxiety can be a normal part of human functioning and something that we all experience to some degree. As a parent with an overly anxious child however, this can be extremely heartbreaking to watch, not to mention frustrating and downright annoying, particularly when it interferes with everyday routines or planned activities.
The child that wont let go of your leg for the entire party can be challenging at best. Aside from the annoyance of lugging around the extra appendage hanging from your body, it can be upsetting to get to a party that the child was so looking forward to, only to have them miss out on all the fun. Dropping a child off at childcare and hearing that they cried alone in a corner for the majority of the day can be devastating to hear, not to mention the guilt that it lumps on an already stressed working parent. But how do we know if it is a case of simply having a shy kid who takes a bit of warming up, or if we have a child who is already showing clear signs of anxiety that may continue to impede them throughout their childhood and beyond?
What is anxiety?
In a nutshell, anxiety is the bodies response to real or perceived danger. It is the ‘flight or fight’ mechanism that is naturally present in us all. When danger, excitement or fear are detected, our body makes physiological changes to prepare for this onslaught and thus we are better able to combat the attack. When we are overly anxious however, this fight or flight mechanism and the physiological changes are not in proportion to the actual danger that is presented, and thus prevent us from negotiating a more realistic response. [Read more...]