Supporting Anxious Children
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Parenting Anxious Kids

Expert Tips from a Child Psychiatrist


Understanding and Supporting Anxious, Sensitive, and Perfectionist Children

adler anxiety perfectionism Jul 21, 2024

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Imagine a 10 year old lad, Evan. Evan had spent the entire day working on a wooden box, carefully etching an intricate dragon onto the lid. His mother, seeing the finished product, was amazed. “Evan, this is incredible! I didn’t know you could do that!” she exclaimed with genuine admiration.

To her surprise, Evan scowled and shouted, “Shut up! It’s rubbish! I hate you!” He then threw the box across the room, where it shattered against the wall.



Evan’s reaction illustrates a common trait among perfectionist children: an inability to accept praise and a harsh self-criticism. These children often equate their self-worth with their accomplishments, and any perceived imperfection can trigger intense frustration. Some children may even avoid completing tasks or trying new things to evade potential failure.

No amount of praise will give Evan encouragement. He must be perfect. Praise only adds to his belief that...

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Top Parenting Books for Montessori Parents with Anxious Sensitive Kids

As we journey through the world of parenting, we often find ourselves navigating uncharted territories. One such territory is understanding and supporting our anxious children. Anxiety can manifest in many ways and each child experiences it differently. It’s our role as parents to provide a safe, understanding, and nurturing environment for our children to thrive.

In this blog post, we will explore some valuable resources that can guide us in this journey. These books offer a wealth of knowledge from experts in child development, education, and psychology. They provide practical strategies, insights, and a deeper understanding of how to support our anxious children.

From the Montessori approach to positive discipline, these books cover a wide range of topics that are relevant to our experiences as parents. Whether you’re new to parenting or have years of experience, these resources can provide fresh perspectives and effective strategies to help you support your...

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Society Gets the Criminals It Deserves: A Call for Change

Whilst the prospect may seem daunting, it is essential to confront the stark realities that we, and our children, are being steered towards - a world teeming with profound pain, tragedy, and horror. I may appear as a harbinger of doom, ceaselessly alerting about an imminent crisis. My concerns might be dismissed as hyperbole, but I am merely amplifying the sentiments of my spirit animal, Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne.


Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, a trailblazer in forensic science, astutely observed, “Justice withers, prison corrupts, and society gets the criminals it deserves.” This insightful statement, articulated over a century ago, echoes louder today. As we scrutinise our environment, it becomes clear that the social determinants of crime and mental illness are closely intertwined, and our current systems fall short in addressing these fundamental issues.


I am convinced that it is only a matter of time before the younger generation grapples with...

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Mini Eco-Warriors: Navigating Queries & Saving Planets

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Travelling With Autism: A Psychiatrists' Tips

Picture this: You’re embarking on a family journey, the road stretching endlessly before you, treats within arm’s reach, and your beloved melodies filling the car. Suddenly, the peaceful ambiance is disrupted by a commotion from the backseat. Your child, who is on the autism spectrum, is grappling with the sensory bombardment of the journey. Amid the turmoil, you find yourself laughing at the paradox of your carefully orchestrated “calm” vacation morphing into a scene straight out of a farcical comedy.


Preparation is paramount. As the saying goes, fortune favors the prepared. Yet, no amount of preparation can completely eliminate discomfort. Nevertheless, you are capable, and you can create beautiful, meaningful memories with your children in the great outdoors.


Addressing sensory challenges during travel is crucial, as sensory overload is a common obstacle for children with autism.


There are several books available on Amazon that...

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BOOKS: Can Fiction Show us the realities of Parenting?

At times, our existence is so saturated with the hustle and bustle of daily life that it becomes essential to pause and rejuvenate ourselves. Reading, for many of us, serves as a sanctuary, a haven of tranquility. However, we may sometimes grapple with guilt, perceiving this retreat as a form of escapism or a misuse of time.

To address this, I’ve curated a selection of fiction books that impart valuable lessons about parenting. This allows you to indulge in your well-deserved respite, vicariously live through characters unrelated to you, and simultaneously glean insights on enhancing your parenting skills.

Fiction books can be a treasure trove of wisdom, shedding light on the intricacies of parenting and its associated challenges. They offer readers the opportunity to view situations from diverse angles, learn from the experiences of others, and cultivate empathy for a variety of parenting scenarios. Moreover, delving into fiction can serve as an escape, enabling parents...

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7 Parenting Books for Anxious Kids : Recommended by a Child and Forensic Psychiatrist


As a child and forensic psychiatrist, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of anxiety on our tamariki. Childhood anxiety isn’t some distant concept—it’s a real experience that affects millions of our kids (and even adults). It’s like a rising tide, threatening to engulf our whānau. From separation anxiety to those all-encompassing worries, these emotions can hold our little ones hostage.


Anxiety isn’t just a fancy word; it’s a lived reality for our tamariki. Recent studies show that approximately 1 in 8 children grapple with anxiety-related challenges. These feelings might show up as persistent worry, fear of specific situations, or even physical symptoms like puku aches and headaches. As parents, recognizing these signs early is our superpower.


Whānau like you are the kaitiaki of their child’s emotional landscape. Our responses and actions matter—they significantly shape how our kids perceive and...

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Improving Mental Health Services: Lessons from a home visit

Uncategorized Jun 29, 2024

Raise your hand, if anyone else here tired of the whining and complaining that the government isn't doing enough for mental health services?


A few years ago, I made a house call late in the day, responding to a parent of a patient of mine who was unable to attend the clinic due to a minor domestic incident. The atmosphere was tense, like a whirlwind of emotions - that’s what the phone call felt like. The prescribed medication? It wasn’t working as expected. We were in the midst of it, with no choice but to endure. I asked if they could wait till I got there later that day - they agreed and expressed their gratitude. I asked why they didn’t call the crisis team - they did - they were advised to call the police (for an 11 year old having a tantrum). Understandably, she did not call the police. As for the rest of the family? I didn’t ask.


Upon arrival, I observed the mother, caught in this storm, unable to connect with the other kids or to...

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Connecting with anxious and neuroatypical kids

Navigating the complexities of connecting with anxious and neuroatypical children can be challenging, especially during their emotional upheavals.

At times, we may find ourselves grappling with our own anxieties, questioning our capabilities to manage and alleviate their distress. Feelings of guilt may surface, making us feel inadequate in our parenting roles.

However, it’s crucial to remember that these doubts are unfounded. You are fully capable of handling these situations. The tools you need are already within you, they just require a bit of honing and polishing.

I’m excited to share that I’ve updated the self-paced audio course ‘Connecting with Anxious and Neurodiverse Kids’, also known as the ‘Foundations of Emotional Connection’. This course is readily available on the Huddle Wisdom website.

To access the course, please visit: 



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Unveiling Our New T-Shirt Collection: A Nod to the Parenthood Journey

As parents, we often find ourselves in situations that are as chaotic as they are beautiful. We understand that raising children, especially those who are anxious or sensitive, can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride. But amidst all the ups and downs, there’s always room for a little humor and a lot of love.

When I was at university (college for my US audience) I started a t-shirt design company with a friend but life got too busy and I couldn't give it much time to actually get it off the ground. But lately I've felt inspired to resurrect it and designed a couple of t-shirts which I think Huddle Wisdom parents would be proud to wear.


And I think it encapsulates the sentiments I shared earlier. 


These t-shirts, available on Etsy, are not just about style, but also about expressing the shared experiences of parenthood. 


1. ‘Everything is Fine’ T-Shirt

Our first design features the text ‘Everything is Fine’...

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