A child’s worry can take over a household. It can make parents more anxious, certain topics or activities off-limits, and everyone waiting like a shoe is about to drop. Something as safe as going to a party, completing a project, or sleeping can invoke fear. And the more you try to convince a child that everything will be fine, the worse the fear seems to get.
Over the last two decades anxiety in children has been on the rise. According to the CDC, 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. In many ways, the modern world is the perfect storm for anxiety, so it’s important parents understand how best to respond to anxious kids.
In episode 27 of The Healthy Family Podcast, we have on Dawn Huebner, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, and Parent Coach specializing in anxiety. She is the author of 9 books for children including the perennial bestseller, What to Do When You Worry Too Much and more recent, Outsmarting Worry. Dr. Huebner’s newest book, Something Bad Happened provides support for children learning about ‘bad things’ happening in the world.
In this episode, Dr. Huebner explains why anxiety is on the rise, what is really going on inside an anxious child’s brain, and how parents can help support their child in overcoming anxiety.
- The three reasons Dr. Huebner believes anxiety is on the rise.
- The parenting style that exacerbates anxiety in kids.
- How to tell when anxiety is normal or problematic.
- How modern life can set off false alarms in kids and what parents can do about it.
- The emotion anxious children have the most difficulty with (starts with a “u”).
- The first thing you should do when your child is upset that will calm him down and help him think more clearly.
- Why common strategies such as reassuring children or making them do something backfires.
- Which anxiety treatments are evidenced-based and which ones aren’t.
- Key strategies that help kids overcome anxiety (and the one that is most important).
- How to talk to kids about major life events such as shootings and natural disasters.
Quote from the Show
One of the trickiest but most important things for parents to learn is how to support the child without supporting the anxiety – Dawn Huebner, PhD
Podcast Music: Corporate Uplifting by Scott Holmes
Like the Healthy Family Podcast? Help spread the word by subscribing and rating/reviewing it on Itunes