Supporting Anxious Children
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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 manage anxiety. By fostering open communication, empathy, and a safe haven, we empower our little ones to navigate their emotions with resilience.

 

And here’s where books come in—not just ink on paper, but humble yet powerful tools. They offer insights, practical strategies, and stories that resonate with both parents and children. Whether it’s a cozy bedtime read or a shared adventure, these literary companions guide us, normalize feelings, and ignite meaningful conversations.

 

I’ve personally read and continue to use these books in my personal and professional life. I wholeheartedly recommend them. These books will shape the way you approach anxiety when it inevitably shows up—it always does.

 

So, are you ready for it? Well, these books will help you chart a course toward courage and understanding.  

 
 

1. The Whole-Brain Child” by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

 

 

This book demystifies the meltdowns and aggravation, explaining how a child’s brain is wired and matures. Siegel and Bryson dissect brain sections and offer 12 “whole-brain” strategies that empower parents to handle challenging situations and conflicts effectively. It’s like having a roadmap for nurturing resilience.The authors blend parenting strategies with the science of childhood emotional and cognitive development.It’s concise, practical, and backed by research.Whether you’re dealing with tantrums or day-to-day struggles, these strategies work. A very good read—blend science with parenting artistry and watch your child’s brain flourish!  

 

 

2. What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety” by Dawn Huebner

  

 

This interactive self-help book, designed for 6-12 year-olds and their parents, unravels the cognitive-behavioral techniques used in treating generalized anxiety. It’s not just ink on paper; it’s a toolkit for change. It is engaging and easy to follow, it educates and motivates. Lively metaphors and clear steps make anxiety management accessible. From tomato-like worries to practical strategies, it’s a lifeline for kids and parents. A must-read for families navigating the anxiety seas. 

 
 

3. The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears” by Lawrence J. Cohen

   

“Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children” by Reid Wilson and Lynn Lyons is a practical guide for families navigating the maze of childhood anxiety. The book exposes common anxiety-enhancing behaviors like reassurance, accommodation, and avoidance. It’s like shining a light on the worry cycle, revealing its hidden gears. Wilson and Lyons offer a roadmap for change. These principles foster resilience and independence. It’s not just theory; it’s actionable steps for anxious kids and their parents. Anxious parents often raise anxious children. The book provides techniques to break this cycle. 

 

 

4. “Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children” by Reid Wilson and Lynn Lyons

  The book lays out seven key principles that challenge common patterns like reassurance, accommodation, and avoidance.By stepping into uncertainty, parents can guide their children toward resilience and independence.Wilson and Lyons recognize that anxious parents often raise anxious children.The book offers techniques to recalibrate both parental and child thinking and behavior.From deep breaths to superhero mindset shifts, you’ll discover practical exercises.It’s like having a toolkit for helping your child face fears and manage worries.

 

5. “Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents” by Ronald Rapee, Ann Wignall, Susan Spence, Vanessa Cobham, and Heidi Lyneham 

  This book offers a comprehensive self-help program based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It guides you through each step, empowering you to support your child effectively.From understanding anxiety to implementing strategies, it’s like having a roadmap to resilience.The book equips you with techniques to recognize anxiety triggers. You’ll learn how to decode your child’s worries and address them head-on.The book shows you how to relieve your child’s anxious feelings while fostering a safe, understanding space. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies awarded it the Self-Help Seal of Merit.

 
  

 

6. “Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for Life - from Toddlers to Teens” by Tamar Chansky

 Dr. Chansky provides a roadmap for parents, covering anxiety from toddlers to teens.Whether your child is a tiny tot or a moody teen, the book tailors strategies to their developmental stage.Dr. Chansky weaves relatable stories into the fabric of the book.You’ll find comfort in knowing you’re not alone on this journey.The book equips parents with practical tools to guide their children toward resilience.

 

  

7. “Outsmarting Worry: An Older Kid’s Guide to Managing Anxiety” by Dawn Huebner 

 

Dr. Huebner breaks down anxiety in a language that clicks with older kids.Practical strategies empower them to face worries head-on.The book engages readers with interactive activities.Families and teachers love it! The book has earned its stripes. 

 

 
 

Turmoil into Tranquility?

 

Meltdowns overwhelming you?

 

You’re not alone. Many of us parents grapple with our kids' intense outbursts, feeling a mix of frustration, helplessness, and guilt.

There is hope.

 

You can learn to guide your child through their storms with greater ease and assurance, forging a deeper connection in the process.

Let me show you what I mean.

 

Join me in the complimentary video/lecture ‘Navigating Meltdowns: Aiding Your Child and Yourself Amidst Emotional Highs,’ where you’ll gain insights on:

  • The roots of meltdowns

  • Distinguishing between everyday issues and overwhelming meltdowns

  • Proactive measures to avert and mitigate meltdowns

  • Supportive responses to help your child during challenging moments

  • Essential recovery and bonding steps post-meltdown

 

This guidance is drawn from my dual expertise as both a parent and a psychiatrist.

Seize the chance to access a treasure trove of wisdom at no cost.

Simply provide your name and email below, and I’ll promptly share the link for immediate viewing.

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