What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What-to-Do Guides for Kids)

Author: Dawn Huebner, Bonnie Matthews
This Month Reddit 3


by wanderer333   2019-08-24

What kind of therapy is he receiving, and how often? Is the therapist working with you to come up with strategies and “homework” in between sessions? He should be working with someone who specializes in childhood mood disorders and uses an evidence-based treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy. There are lots of good CBT resources out there that you can draw on as well, such as the book What to Do When You Worry Too Much or apps like “Stop Breathe & Think Kids” and “Mindful Powers”. His school counselor may be able to direct you to other resources as well, or there may even be a group for kids at his school dealing with similar issues.

by wanderer333   2019-08-24

I highly recommend the book What to Do When You Worry Too Much - it's based on cognitive behavioral therapy which is the gold standard treatment for anxiety disorders (hopefully the therapist he's going to be working with is trained in CBT as well!). He's at the upper end of the age range recommended for that book, so you might also check out the version for older kids written by the same author, Outsmarting Worry, which I've heard good things about as well. There's also some good info on this website: http://teenmentalhealth.org/learn/mental-disorders/panic-disorder/

by wanderer333   2019-08-24

Huh. I'm a bit skeptical that acting is an evidence-based treatment for panic disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy, on the other hand, is the gold standard treatment for anxiety disorders in both adults and children. Look for a child therapist who specializes in CBT, and don't waste time on theater, unless of course he wants to just for the fun of it.

I also highly recommend the book What To Do When You Worry Too Much, which is a CBT-based workbook for kids. Teaching him some relaxation strategies would also be a good place to start - this website has a good list, or you could check out an app like Stop Breathe & Think for Kids, DreamyKid, or Super Stretch Yoga. I also love the book Breathe Like a Bear and the fun card deck Mindful Kids.

by annalatrina   2019-07-21

Kids that age being “scared” of going to different rooms is pretty universal. My kids won’t go downstairs (where their freaking bedroom is!) alone. I was complaining about it to other kindergartener parents one day and they all piped up that their kids are the same.

If you want a resource to help kids with anxiety, the school counselor recommended this book: What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What-to-Do Guides for Kids) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1591473144/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_z24LCbGBSTCVH

What do you mean that she won’t play?

by wanderer333   2019-07-21

> He was basically ok in that he’s got anxiety,

....you do know that "anxiety" is a diagnosable condition just like OCD and autism, right? It sounds like he has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and maybe some specific phobias as well, though of course I'm a random stranger on the internet not a doctor. Did the doctors give him a diagnosis? Did they recommend a specific type of treatment? CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is the gold standard treatment for anxiety disorders in both kids and adults. I highly recommend you look for a CBT therapist who specializes in childhood anxiety.

edit to add: I also recommend the book What to Do When You Worry Too Much, both to help explain anxiety to him and his siblings and to give you some strategies as you're getting started with a therapist.

by nmmb   2019-07-21

>My work schedule changes every week and my husband’s is also subject to change so between that and the kids activities we just play each day by ear.

I have a kid with pretty severe anxiety and it is (was) often difficult for him to cope with the unpredictability of 3 others in his family - I can't imagine how he would deal in a family of 5 others. Predictability and routine was one of the things that helps him the most (I realize that is hard in a family of 6 but he needs this). When he was the age of your child - we would talk A LOT about how things may or may not go BEFORE they happened. Not only to share our expectations of how something may go but also to get his expectations so we could help manage them. In your dinner example - I would have said that morning "here is I think our day will look like. These are the things that will definitely happen. These are the things that I am not so sure about (dinner)." and then I would remind him throughout the day. We used a lot of "remember when..." statements when he would get anxious about the same things. "Remember when you were worried about going to the state fair last year? How did that turn out?" If he commented with something negative - we would say "That did happen and that was a bummer. Remember how much you loved XYZ there?"

Therapy has helped my son a bunch but it took three therapists to find the right one and progress was pretty slow going. One thing that we learned from an earlier therapist (and one thing that was really hard for me - a fixer) was to let him feel it and not to say things like "don't worry" or "it's no big deal". Instead she taught us to listen to the worries and lead him through reframing the worries. (This was actually pretty difficult for my son at 6 but just letting him vocalize the worries without us trying to "fix" them was helpful). We also heap on a shit ton of empathy (we still do this - even though my son is doing much better).

This book was helpful but he might be on the young side for it.