Many parents worry about their children: Are they developing appropriately? Are there things I should be looking out for? For many, the daily challenges their children face are part of normal development; however, for some, concerns may reflect the need for more focused attention, with the need to consult with a mental health professional a possibility (please see previous post about knowing when it may be time to seek help).
You may recognize the scene: You are in public and your son or daughter decides that this is the time they want a specific thing or perhaps they want to stay/leave where you are. Parents usually start to reason with the child, perhaps through pursed lips, all the while trying to keep cool as they feel red creeping up their cheeks.
Think about something that stresses you out. Perhaps it is going to a social event, having to do a presentation at work, or even the simple act of leaving the house. Think about the amount of time you spend thinking about what may happen when you are faced with this stressor. What if it all goes wrong? What if someone sees you go through this and fail?
Now imagine that you are a child and that stressor is school. For many children, the start of school can represent the prospect of prolonged, continuous exposure to stress.