So says Lynn Collins, a licensed clinical psychologist in Portland who works with families.
Anxiety actually has its beneficial side, Collins told The Oregonian/OregonLive.
"A little anxiety actually sharpens you intellectually," she said. It produces an adrenalin surge that speeds up mental reactions and processing speed. So if your kid has jitters about playing a soccer game or taking a history test, that's normal and healthy.
But if anxiety is keeping kids from doing something they should be doing - he won't sign up for a soccer team even though he is passionate about the sport, or she refuses to go to school on test day - that's cause for concern.
Here are six more things Collins said parents should know about anxiety.
There's no cut-and-dried solution. "It's not predictable. It's different for every kid. It comes back at unexpected times....You find something that works with one child and then another child will show anxiety in a very different way."
Anxiety in young children is usually a developmental phase. Collins said many anxieties that afflict babies and toddlers "evolved to keep people safe and they make a lot of sense," such as fear of strangers, large animals, insects or the dark. Developmental anxieties naturally fade with time," Collins said.