Child Mind Institute’s What to Do (and Not Do) When Children Are Anxious
1. The goal isn’t to eliminate anxiety, but to help a child manage it
2. Don’t avoid things just because they make a child anxious
3. Express positive- but realistic- expectations
4. Respect their feelings, but don’t empower them
5. Don’t ask leading questions
6. Don’t reinforce the child’s fears
Learn more below!
Listen to this podcast episode from Lynn Lyons, Psychotherapist, Anxiety and Children that answers two listeners questions:
A mom discovers her 15 year old has been thinking of drinking to manage her stress. What are the conversations parents should be having with their teens around stress, substance abuse and peer pressure?
And another mom raised by an anxious parent is trying to break the cycle with her daughters. She asks Lynn how to know when the voices inside her head are generational patterns of worry repeating or intuitive warnings. How does anxiety filter the decisions we make and the information we receive?
“As we face a mental health crisis alongside the pandemic that we really focus on the emotional management skills that we can teach our children. It’s an effective way to immunize them against emotional difficulties by talking about their emotions, raising their awareness of them, and parents modeling emotional literacy. Lynn discusses the commons trait that most anxious parents have in common in how they raise anxious kids.”
If you are worried about your children and anxiety, Lynn Lyons, Psychotherapist, Anxiety and Children, provides helpful tips on how to help.
Lynn Lyons, LICSW writes, “School nurses, you save the day. I love working with you, training with you, depending on you to help with those worried kids that show up over and over. You have always been on the front lines of this, and I am so appreciative. In this episode, I talk about the powerful role that school nurses can play in helping our kids manage anxiety at school.” Listen to this episode and more here!
Article from Lynn Lyons, MSW @LynnLyonsMSW @lynnlyonsanxiety
The beginning of the school year is a great time to think about the accommodations we put in place for anxious students. In my experience, most plans are not working and schools and parents are the first to acknowledge this. They’re trying to help, but the prevalence and intensity of anxiety continues to grow. Why?
Schools and parents, with the best of intentions, act in a loving, caring, helpful manner…but they often seek to provide the student with the comfort and certainty that anxiety feeds upon. Of course, concerned adults want to keep anxious kids in school, but when the plan focuses on allowing a child to avoid anxiety-provoking situations, children never learn the skill to step toward challenges; they feel permission to avoid them.
Think of it this way: anxious children already know how to get out of things.That’s anxiety’s main coping strategy. If the accommodation plan is based on creating escapes, avoiding challenges and keeping the classroom “safe” (which to anxiety means keeping the environment predictable and comfortable) then adults are actually making the anxiety stronger and more permanent.
To manage anxiety in a new way, the child must learn how to stay in the situation, and thus, respond differently to the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that worry and anxiety create.
This takes work. It requires a paradigm shift, and it’s easier when we start early. As we seek to increase the emotional resilience of our children (and simply make their childhoods less stressful), here’s the question to ask: how do we help children tolerate uncertainty and gain confidence through experience, mistakes, and adaptability?
Can we create an environment that truly makes room for mistakes and failure, without an undercurrent of expectations and performance? I think so. It’s our job to love them into action rather than join their fear and support their avoidance.
Accommodations based on avoidance may be well-meaning and effective in the short-term, but they are the opposite of what we need to do for anxious children.
College is an exciting time for many young adults. It’s a time of newfound freedom, opportunity to expand one’s social network, develop new friendships, engage intellectually and consider one’s future career paths. However, it can be a challenging and stressful time for many. To read the tips please click the link to the full article below.
How to help youth (and yourself!) with anxiety. Here are three keys to help you reset:
1. Think of 5 things that went right today.
2. Make an active list.
3. Get an accountability buddy.
Click here to view the full article with tips here