Does your child struggle with chronic worry or anxiety? The GoZen! anxiety relief program teaches your child how to understand and control their worry. And because stress, pressure and challenges are part of everyday life, these are skills your child will use forever.
By: John H. Dacey and Lias B. Fiore
It's hard being the parent of an anxious child, watching your son's frustration grow, or seeing how your daughter tries to cope with her fears but gives up so quickly. Filled with solid information, a proven four-step program, dozens of engaging activities, and insightful personal vignettes, Your Anxious Child gives you easy, fun, and highly effective tools to help your child become a creative problem solver. Parents and teachers alike will find excellent strategies in this essential guide.
By:Christopher McCurry, PhD and Steven C. Hayes, PhD
We live in a chaotic and often unpredictable world, so it's only natural for you and your child to have anxieties. But seeing your child cry, cling to you, or even use aggression to avoid his or her own fears and worries may cause you to worry even more, trapping both of you in a cycle of anxiety and fear.
You can interrupt this cycle with the proven-effective mindfulness and acceptance skills taught in this book. Drawn from acceptance and commitment therapy, Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance offers a new way to think about your child's anxiety, as well as a set of techniques used by child psychologists to help children as young as four let go of anxious feelings and focus instead on relationships with friends, learning new things in school, and having fun. You'll learn these techniques, use them when you feel anxious, and teach them to your child. With practice, you both will let go of anxious feelings and your child will find the confidence to enjoy being a kid.
By: Donna Pincus, PhD
When our children are born, we do everything we can to make sure they have love, food, clothing, and shelter. But despite all this, one in five children today suffers from a diagnosed anxiety disorder, and countless others suffer from anxiety that interferes with critical social, academic, and physical development. Dr. Donna Pincus, nationally recognized childhood anxiety expert, is here to help. In Growing Up Brave, Dr. Pincus helps parents identify and understand anxiety in their children, outlines effective and convenient parenting techniques for reducing anxiety, and shows parents how to promote bravery for long-term confidence. From trouble sleeping and separation anxiety to social anxiety or panic attacks, Growing Up Brave provides an essential toolkit for instilling happiness and confidence for childhood and beyond.
Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child's Fears, Worries, and Phobias
By: Tamar Chansky, PhD
Anxiety is the number one mental health problem facing young people today.
Childhood should be a happy and carefree time, yet more and more children today are exhibiting symptoms of anxiety, from bedwetting and clinginess to frequent stomach aches, nightmares, and even refusing to go to school. Parents everywhere want to know: All children have fears, but how much is normal? How can you know when a stress has crossed over into a full-blown anxiety disorder? Most parents don’t know how to recognize when there is a real problem and how to deal with it when there is.
In Freeing Your Child From Anxiety, a childhood anxiety disorder specialist examines all manifestations of childhood fears, including social anxiety, Tourette’s Syndrome, hair-pulling, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and guides you through a proven program to help your child back to emotional safety.
No child is immune from the effects of stress in today’s media-saturated society. Fortunately, anxiety disorders are treatable. By following these simple solutions, parents can prevent their children from needlessly suffering today—and tomorrow.
Anxiety-Free Kids: An Interactive Guide for Parents and Children
By: Bonnie ZZucker, Psy.D
Anxiety-Free Kids offers parents strategies that help children become happy and worry free, methods that relieve a child's excessive anxieties and phobias, and tools for fostering interaction and family-oriented solutions. Using a unique companion approach that offers two books in one—a practical, reader-friendly book for parents and a fun workbook for kids—this solutions-oriented guide utilizes the cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy by integrating the parent in the child's self-help process.
Covering the six most commonly occurring anxiety disorders in childhood—generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, specific phobias, social phobias, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder—this book gives kids and their parents successful strategies for achieving relaxation, conquering worries, challenging faulty thinking patterns, developing positive self-talk, and facing one's fears.
What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
By: Dawn Huebner
"What to Do When You Worry Too Much" is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. It includes a note to parents by psychologist and author Dawn Huebner, PhD.
David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety
By: Anne Marie Guanci
Learning to deal with anxiety is an important step in a child's healthy emotional growth. Conquering fears, and not avoiding them, is the lesson imparted in this story. David could not stop thinking about the basket he had missed at the end of the big game. He was worried that he might do it again. He was worried that his team mates would be angry with him. He was worried that his parents would not be proud of him. He was also worried about an upcoming math test. In fact, David was worried a lot. "Should I quit the team?" he asked himself. "Should I be sick tomorrow and miss the math test?" Luckily, David finally confided in his parents and school nurse, both of whom gave him support and techniques for controlling the "worry beast" within him. Delightfully illustrated, it focuses on a very real and essential topic.
Frequently Asked Questions about Anxiety
How much anxiety is "normal" for a child?
Fears and worries in children can be common and developmentally appropriate. Infants, for example, are easily startled and, later on, develop a transient fear of strangers. Toddlers typically fear darkness, imaginary creatures, and being separated from their caretakers. School-age children tend to worry about injury, death, and natural events such as storms. Pre-adolescents and adolescents typically experience anxiety around school performance, social status, and health issues.
Developmentally appropriate fears become problematic if they do not subside with time, or if they are severe enough to impair a child’s day-to-day functioning. A clinician can help distinguish normal, developmentally appropriate anxiety or shyness from an anxiety disorder that requires further intervention and treatment.
What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety?
Children and adolescents with anxiety generally voice a specific worry or fear, which they may not realize is excessive or unreasonable. They can also present with a physical complaint, such as stomachache or headache. Clinicians diagnose specific anxiety disorders by examining the context in which a child’s anxiety symptoms occur:
Children with Generalized Anxiety Disorder experience chronic, excessive anxiety about multiple areas of their lives (e.g., family, school, social situations, health, natural disasters)
Children with Separation Anxiety experience excessive fear of being separated from their home or caretakers
Children with Specific Phobia fear a specific object or situation (e.g., spiders, needles, riding in elevators)
Children with Social Phobia experience anxiety in social settings or performance situations
Children with Panic Disorder experience unexpected, brief episodes of intense anxiety without an apparent trigger, characterized by multiple physical symptoms (e.g., shortness of breath, increased heart rate, sweating)
Children with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder perform repetitive mental acts or behaviors (“compulsions”) to alleviate anxiety caused by disturbing thoughts, impulses, or images (“obsessions”)
Children with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder experience anxiety symptoms (e.g. nightmares, feelings of detachment from others, increased startle ) following exposure to a traumatic event.
What causes anxiety disorders?
There is no single cause of anxiety disorders. The development of an anxiety disorder typically results from an interaction between certain biological and environmental risk factors that are unique to each individual. Genetics play an important role in determining who will develop an anxiety disorder, as does a child’s temperament, or innate personality style. Studies show, for example, that children who are innately cautious, quiet, and shy are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder. Environmental risk factors, such as parenting style, combine with the biological risk factors of genetics and temperament to make a child more or less predisposed toward developing an anxiety disorder.
How are anxiety disorders treated?
There is not one single treatment for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. A clinician will formulate a treatment plan that is individualized to the needs of each child and family.
Psychotherapy is the first-line treatment for anxiety disorders of mild severity. One widely used, evidence-based form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
When a child’s anxiety symptoms are severe, or when a child has responded only partially to psychotherapy, adding medication may be helpful. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are the first line medications used to treat children with anxiety disorders. Parents should discuss the risks and benefits of these medications with their child’s clinician.