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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Mini Eco-Warriors: Navigating Queries & Saving Planets

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Supporting Anxious Neuroatypical Kids at School

Imagine a student who is the epitome of decorum and respect in school, but at home, they transform into a whirlwind of emotions. This scenario is not uncommon for neurodiverse children who often remain unnoticed in educational environments. They are like hidden icebergs, their struggles concealed beneath the surface, invisible to those unfamiliar with their circumstances.


These children often employ a strategy known as ‘masking’, where they exert significant mental energy to conceal their difficulties. Sometimes it’s a conscious effort; other times, it’s an instinctive defense mechanism. Their objective? To blend in, to appear ‘normal’, to avoid being singled out.


Unfortunately, neurodiverse children are more susceptible to mental health issues. So, how can we support them? Let’s delve into some strategies.


Building Bridges of Empathy


The first step is fostering open communication between parents and educators....

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Fighting anxiety one step at a time: Graded Hierachies for Parents

 As parents, our role in our children’s lives is multifaceted, but perhaps the most crucial aspect is the bond we share with them. This connection is the foundation upon which we can build resilience against anxiety. Today, we’re sharing the Graded Hierarchy Method, a step-by-step approach that is supercharged by the strength of your relationship with your child.


The Cornerstone of Trust:

Before diving into the method, it’s essential to understand that trust and security are the currency of any relationship, especially with your anxious child. Like money in the bank, these elements of connection ensure that you have the emotional credit to support your child through the costly process of fighting anxiety. Without a strong bond, you risk overdrafting on this account, leading to potential damage or conflict within your relationship.


Understanding Anxiety Triggers:

Identifying what sparks your child’s anxiety is the first step. Here are...

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How concerned should I be about my children's mental health?

The Indispensable Role of Parents in Addressing Children’s Mental Health

Parents are not just caregivers; they are the pillars of support and the first line of defense in their children’s mental health. Their role is pivotal and multifaceted, and here’s why:

  1. Early Intervention: Parents, being the closest to their children, are often the first to notice any changes in their child’s behavior or mood. They can detect and address mental health issues at an early stage, leading to more effective treatment. This early intervention can prevent conditions from escalating, making parents a crucial part of the solution.

  2. Mitigating Long-term Impact: Childhood experiences can have a lasting impact on an individual’s future. Mental health problems during childhood can lead to challenges in adulthood, including difficulties with relationships, education, and employment. By being vigilant about their children’s mental health, parents can help them...

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School Avoidance and Anxiety: A Collaborative Approach

anxiety school refusal May 15, 2024

School avoidance and anxiety are intricate challenges that necessitate a collective approach, uniting the child, family, school, and mental health professionals. In my experience, triumph is rarely accomplished without this joint effort.

The Emotional Toll of School Avoidance

School avoidance is an emotionally laden issue that can inflict significant distress on all parties involved. Parents often vacillate between feelings of confusion and frustration. One day everything appears fine, the next it’s in chaos. We might find ourselves exclaiming, ‘We’ve been through this!’, ‘You went yesterday’, ‘What’s the problem now?’ (expressing frustration rather than seeking the problem), ‘I need to get to work’, ‘Stop playing around. You are being selfish’, ‘This is unacceptable’, ‘If you don’t get in the car, I’m going to have to drag you kicking and screaming’. The guilt...

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Unraveling the Knots of Childhood Anxiety: A Guide for Parents

anxiety parenting May 05, 2024

Hello there, fellow parents, caregivers, and accidental web surfers who’ve stumbled upon this blog. I’m your friendly neighborhood psychiatrist, armed with a cup of lukewarm coffee and a keyboard that’s seen better days. Today, we’re going to delve into the world of childhood anxiety. Now, don’t panic! We’re in this together.

Understanding Childhood Anxiety

Anxiety in children is a bit like a monster under the bed. It’s often invisible, but it can cause a whole lot of chaos. It’s a normal part of growing up, but when it starts interfering with day-to-day life, it becomes a disorder.

Children with anxiety disorders often have emotional outbursts, show a lot of avoidance, and might try to escape or hide. They may also experience physical symptoms like stomachaches, headaches, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, or sleep issues.

What Causes Anxiety in Children?

The main cause of childhood anxiety is as elusive as my coffee mug on a...

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Navigating the Anxiety Wave: What parents Can do

anxiety Apr 29, 2024

Navigating the Anxiety Wave: 9.4% of Children Experience Anxiety, Here’s What Parents Can Do

Anxiety is a common issue among children, with approximately 9.4% of children aged 3-17 years experiencing diagnosed anxiety1[6]. This number has been on the rise, increasing 27% from 2016 to 20192[7]. As parents, understanding and addressing this issue is crucial for our children’s wellbeing. Here are some strategies that can help, inspired by resources on Huddle Wisdom21.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal part of life and all children will experience it at some point32. It’s when there’s too much anxiety, or it occurs too often, that it becomes uncomfortable32. Anxiety can present as fear or worry, but can also make children irritable and angry1[6]. Some anxious children keep their worries to themselves, so the symptoms can be missed1[6].

Strategies for Managing Anxiety

  1. Open Communication: Maintain an open dialog with your child and encourage them to...

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Navigating the Anxiety Wave: A Compassionate Approach to Parenting

anxiety compassion Apr 21, 2024

Navigating the Anxiety Wave: A Compassionate Approach to Parenting

In the whirlwind of our modern, hyper-connected lives, we often find our children grappling with anxiety. As parents, educators, and members of society, we may unintentionally contribute to this growing concern. Let’s delve into this issue and discuss how we can shift the tide.

From Self-Growth to External Achievements

Think back to our own childhood. Our aspirations were centered around personal development, learning, and self-enhancement. We strived to evolve into better versions of ourselves. However, over time, the focus shifted. We began to pursue external indicators of success such as wealth, social media validation, accolades, and academic accomplishments. These became our benchmarks, which we inadvertently passed on to our children.

The Ever-Changing Goalposts

Today’s children are navigating a sea of ever-changing expectations. They are expected to excel acadically, engage in numerous...

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Meaningful Bonds for Lasting Influence


Struggling to communicate with your children?

Learn ways to support them even when words fail.