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Children and Anxiety

Our guest on BOY TALK this month is  Howard Hiton, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and passionate advocate for boys.

Howard shares this with us:

Supporting Children in an Age of Increasing Anxiety

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Remember the three C’s of managing anxiety:

Calm your body–Help your child notice the connection between anxiety and shallow, rapid breathing. Practice breath suspension and other breathing techniques. Spend time in nature. Explore mindfulness practices. Take a bath. Give your kids a massage. Exercise!

Correct your thinking-Consider the beliefs under your anxiety. We can help adolescents by helping them shift their negative thoughts (from: “this is going to be awful!” to: ”this will suck but I’ll be ok.”).

Confront your fears–Help your child face fears in a gradual, systematic way. Ultimately, they need to learn that they can handle and get through the uncomfortable feelings instead of avoiding them.

Control What You Can

  • Improve interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Create demand delays. It is not necessary to respond to every E-message right away.
  • Lower stimulation.
  • Take care of responsibilities and practice good self-care.

Accept What You Cannot Change

Sometimes it is best to accept your anxiety. Working to vanquish your anxious feelings may exacerbate them. Consider the spheres of influence and determine if you are spending too much time in the concern sphere. Help your children to do the same.

Consider Your Schedule

Is the busyness of your family life working?

How can you pace things to be more supportive?

Help your child to look ahead and break down assignments and prioritize them.

Keep perspective, stay objective and maintain connection.

Tease out the parts of the anxiety that are generic and those that are specific to your child.

Consider the world through your children’s eyes. Let your child have their feelings and take care of yours while still sympathizing and showing your children that they can handle their feelings.

 

Recommended Resources:

Faber, Adele and Mazlish, Elaine. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Greene, Ross W. The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

Kellner, Millicent. Staying in Control: Anger Management Skills for Parents of Young Adolescents

Payne, Kim John. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Sapolsky, Robert. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

Wehrenberg, Margaret. The 10 Best -Ever Anxiety Management Techniques. The Insight Timer App from the App store

Copyright: Howard Hiton MS, LPC •  www.HitonAssociates.net


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