How Tension Develops
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How Tension Develops book
In common with all other living creatures a child is affected by the environment in which he lives. For some simple forms of life this environment may be relatively unchanging and stable, and largely beyond the control of the organism. In contrast, a child may experience a whole variety of differing environments during the course of a day, some of which he may already know well, others which may be quite new to him. Compared with an adult, a child is frequently encountering situations of which he knows nothing, or where his information is incomplete and often distorted. The delightfully humorous incidents recounted by parents concerning their children will often have their roots in childish misconceptions of language or situation. It is useful to bear in mind that these misconceptions which amuse the parents represent a true reflection of reality for the child. The child's discovery of his failure to understand a situation will have the positive effect of contributing to his knowledge of the environment in which he lives, but must also reinforce a growing awareness of its uncertainty and unpredictability. This, in turn, can in certain circumstances lead to feelings of anxiety becoming associated with specific situations. It may also lead to a perception of all new situations as being potential sources of fear and anxiety.