Anxious Parenting Series

Anxious Parenting Series

“Am I making my child’s anxiety worse?”

“I always was anxious as a kid, and so I’m worried my child gets it from me.”

“I have anxiety, too, so I know it’s my fault.”

Parents often call me with these questions and comments. As a parent, it can be hard when you see your child struggling with the exact same issues that you had. You want to help them, and you also feel a little bit…guilty. Maybe it’s your fault they’re this way.

But it’s really not your fault

And feeling guilty, even if it makes sense, doesn’t make things easier. So let’s take a step back and figure out what is leading to your child’s anxiety in the first place.

Starting next week, we’ll begin our 8 week series on anxiety and parenting - and there’s a lot that we’ll be digging into:

  1. The Building Blocks of Anxiety

  2. Managing Your Own Anxiety as a Parent

  3. Parenting Anxious Pre-Schoolers and Elementary Schoolers

  4. Anxiety and Parenting a Child with Anger Management Issues (spoiler: it’s probably anxiety related as well!)

  5. Perfectionism and Parenting Your Highschooler

  6. Preparing Your Highschooler for College

  7. Out of the Nest: How to Parent Your Anxiety-Driven College Student

  8. Moving Forward and Next Steps

That’s a lot of info… so why am I covering all of this?

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12 Tips for Winter Break: Set Some Structure

12 Tips for Winter Break: Set Some Structure

This month I’m sharing 12 Tips to help parents manage behaviors (and still have fun!) over winter break!

Winter break gives you a lot of unstructured time.

For kids and teens who run a little more anxious or overwhelmed, that unstructured time can lead to stress related behaviors. Yes, there’s a lot of fun to be had with family and presents and dinners and toys… and there’s a lot of potential for overwhelm.

When your kid is overwhelmed and acting out, it can feel like they’re ruining the holidays.

And you maybe feel bad for even thinking that… but the truth is, we put a lot of time and energy into making winter break and winter holidays fun. When things don’t go according to plan, or when we have our little one throwing a huge tantrum in front of your whole extended family, it can feel overwhelming for you as well!

How do we help with this?

We set up a framework for winter break that’s easy for everyone to follow.

Tip 1: Prepare

Tip 2: Set Clear Expectations

Tip 3: Time Management

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October Scaries: Food Phobias (aka "You want me to eat WHAT?!")

October Scaries: Food Phobias (aka "You want me to eat WHAT?!")

“I’m not eating that! Gross!”

When you go to a restaurant, you bring an extra meal for your kid. You and your partner make dinner, and your little one has a whole separate menu for themselves. You'd rather have them eat something than nothing, but you're almost worried that if they eat another chicken nugget, they're going to turn into one. 

Why are kids such picky eaters?

There are a lot of different reasons that kids can be picky eaters - but part of the underlying issue can be anxiety - and not just fear of new foods. 

They'll only eat mayonnaise on white bread. Or they'll eat applesauce on Tuesdays and Tuesdays alone. That picky eating can be part of their exerting control on a little corner of their world. The feel overwhelmed and anxious about everything else, so at least they have a say on what they eat and when.

Anxious kids can also have sensory processing issues with food as well.

And in times like these, it may be helpful to have them meet with an occupational therapist who can help with their eating issues.

5 steps to help parents of picky eaters (read more…)

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Anxiety vs. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety vs. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Is generalized anxiety disorder the same as general anxiety? What is the best way to treat children with anxiety disorders?

Generalized anxiety disorder is the diagnostic name for kids, teens, and adults who meet the criteria. Oftentimes people will say they have anxiety, or general anxiety, without quite meaning that they meet all of the criteria. You can find a screening tool* for kids and for adults put together by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (*which gives you information, but you will want to meet with a counselor, social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist for a true screening)…

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