The fear of throwing up is a common anxiety. In fact it is one of the most common anxiety themes I saw in my therapy practice. Emetophobia, the fear of throwing up, impacts many people. But most people suffering from the fear of throwing up get this one thing wrong. They work hard on convincing themselves that they won’t throw up. Unfortunately, that only serves to grow Emetophobia more. In this week’s Youtube video I talk to kids and teens about how to get relief from Emetophobia by outsmarting their anxiety and not falling for the trap that will grow it bigger.
It is hard not to want to control our child’s anxiety or OCD journey. It is hard not to have expectations for how it should turn out. It’s human nature to want to do everything in our power to help our kids. But sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and our children is to recognize what areas we do not control. Sometimes we can make the most progress when we learn to let go of expectations and perceived control.
There is an important player in the battle with anxiety or OCD – and that is ourselves. How our kids talk to themselves about their anxiety or OCD struggles can be key to their long-term success.
Our Kids See What Their Anxiety & OCD Want Them to See Anxiety and OCD aren’t passively in the background. They are actively working to prove that the world is full of your worst fears. Anxiety and OCD will whisper, see I am keeping you safe. Look at all these situations that aren’t safe. Thank goodness for me, right?! Unfortunately, our brain is wired to […]
What are the Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Anxiety can show up in many different ways, including in our body. Often our mind and body don’t share information, so we miss the early signs that we are getting anxious. In this week’s Youtube video I talk about some of the physical symptoms of anxiety and how to use those symptoms to reduce your anxiety. Click here […]
Why Anxiety or OCD Therapy is Not Enough for Our Kids Many of us think that if only we can find a qualified anxiety or OCD child therapist, all of our child’s struggles would go away. I wish that were true. I wish that was the case for the children that I have treated and for my own children. But the truth is, as parents […]
Handling Overwhelm When Parenting Kids with Anxiety or OCD It can get pretty overwhelming parenting a child with anxiety or OCD. But this is a marathon not a sprint and burn out isn’t an option. Overwhelm is an issue we all deal with throughout this journey. It is something that can creep up on you without any warning. So how do we as parents dial […]
Is Anxiety in Children Common? Helping Kids Realize They are Not Alone. One thing that prevents kids from working on anxiety is….embarrassment. To work on anxiety, kids have to admit there is an issue. For some kids that is too much. They don’t believe anxiety in children is common. They feel embarrassed to have anxiety. They feel like they are weird – like they […]
If your child has anxiety or OCD the brain loves to tune into the worry channel. These thoughts can consume a young brain and make it almost impossible to focus on anything else. In this week’s Kids Youtube video I teach kids how to take back their mind with this ninja tip.
Knock Knock. Whose there? Anxiety! Anxiety loves to come knocking on your child’s door. In fact the very act of focusing on anxiety, causes anxiety to dig it’s claws deeper! That’s just cruel. So how do you help your child not focus on something that is wanting – no, DEMANDING their attention?
When I stare at my son spit a mouthful of food out and discretely tuck it under his plate my heart stops. When I spot my youngest daughter picking at her skin until it bleeds my stomach starts to hurt. When my kids stay up late at night because they are fearful they will be killed if they fall sleep my heart sinks. Anxiety and OCD are hard to stomach. It is hard to watch our children struggle and not allow it to be OUR struggle. To not allow it to be our defeat. How can it not be? But if you want to survive this whole business of raising kids with anxiety and OCD, perspective and separation are key.
Much of what we’ve learned about parenting comes from our own childhood. Good, bad or ugly – it is often what we know. We are also surrounded by people who are quick to share all their parenting wins and strategies. So what happens when typical parenting approaches don’t work for our anxious kids? Helping kids with anxiety often requires a unique set of parenting approaches that can feel counterintuitive.
I had the pleasure of discussing these issues with Dr. Kaylene Henderson, a Child Health Specialist who offers her knowledge and expertise in workshops as well as on her site A Dose of Awesomeness.
We talked about parenting approaches that help anxious kids and discussed aligning with our kids to problem-solve. We talked about doing “just enough” to teach our children self-reliance and self-confidence. She discussed how our own childhood impacts our perspective on parenting, and the interesting science behind it. And lastly we talked about the importance of believing in our children’s abilities.
Kids can’t fight anxiety until they understand anxiety. Parents often skip this step and wonder why their child’s anxiety never gets better. The best way to help kids with anxiety is to take the time to explain how anxiety works. So how do you explain anxiety to them in a way where they’ll not only get it, but be motivated to work on it?
Have them watch my YouTube video made just for anxious kids to watch. In this short video I explain what anxiety is, why kids get it and how it works. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for new videos every week created just for kids with anxiety and OCD.
There were three words that would stop me dead in my tracks as a kid – We. Are. Moving. I didn’t handle change well and unfortunately my parents didn’t handle stability well. It was a bad combination for an anxious kid like me. I also felt silently overwhelmed when our family dog died, when I changed schools, when my parents got divorced and all the life that happened in between. So, how should parents help anxious kids deal with such big life changes? I can tell you what I tell parents in my therapy practice and privately what I wish my own parents would have done as well.
Your child is refusing to get out of the car. “What’s wrong!” You ask, growing more impatient. “I don’t want to go.” Your child pouts. “But why?” You beg, glancing at the time and wondering what excuse you’ll tell your boss this time. “I just don’t want to!” She screams at you. You’ve done this dance many times before. You wonder, how are you supposed to help a child with anxiety when they won’t even talk about it?