Julie Almquist, M.S., LMHP Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health
To me, worrying and anxiety are very similar but we tend to use it in different contexts so worrying tends to be more like those typical simple what-if questions, thoughts about how is this going to go, am I going to be okay is it going to work out.
Anxiety is typically a little bit more amplified in terms of unreasonable worries. Some anxiety is actually very normal and necessary. It's what human beings do but it can become problematic when it makes us smaller in life than we would really like to be.
Anywhere from generalized anxiety, which is sort of general worries across the board to obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety, panic disorder, so there's quite a few different anxiety disorders.
When it becomes problematic is when it gets in the child's way and what I mean by that is it keeps them from doing those things that they would really like to do or that they know they should do.
Like go to school or go on play dates or participate in activities outside of school or home, go to bed at night.
Sometimes parents hold kids in when it comes to their fears and worries because we want to try to protect them and we don't want them to suffer or feel bad but actually it's far better if they can be coaches for kids and encourage them to go after some of these fears and worries because we know that's the best way to get past anxiety is to do the thing you are afraid of.
When they really feel like fears and worries and anxiety is keeping them from experiencing life fully and experiencing those really important life events like school, socializing, like participating in activities.
That's really when parents need to come and talk to us
Childhood anxiety can come in many different forms. Julie Almquist, M.S., LIMHP, Therapist at Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health, explains the difference between worrying and anxiety, the signs of childhood anxiety, how parents can help and when they should seek professional assistance for their child's anxiety.