Parenting an anxious child


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Parenting in itself is a challange, and can be more challangeing if your child suffers from any of the anxiety disorders. This is a part of the fellow lecture series delivered by the author on 3/9/12. This presentation discusses the strategies for parenting an anxious child.

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Parenting an anxious child

  1. 1. Parenting anAnxious ChildWhat parents should knowFellow Lecture SeriesMarch 9th 2011Pallav Pareek M.D.
  2. 2. Freeing Your Child From Anxiety byTamar E Chansky Ph.DHelping Your Anxious Child (A step bystep guide for parents) Rapee et.alYour Anxious Child : John S DaceyHandbook of Clinical Family Therapy
  3. 3.  Anxiety is an expected, normal and transient response to stress; it may be a necessary cue for adaptation, and coping What makes it pathological?a) Autonomy: No/minimal recognizable triggerb) Intensity: exceeds pt’s capacity to bearc) Duration: persistent rather than transientd) Behavior: avoidance or withdrawal
  4. 4.  NO !!!! Anxiety (abnormal) results from unknown internal stimulus or excessive response to the external stimulus While Fear is sense of dread and foreboding that occurs in response to an external threatening event.
  5. 5. Simple Phobia, Social Phobia, AgoraphobiaPanic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety DisorderSeparation Anxiety DisorderPost Traumatic Stress Disorder, OCD
  6. 6.  Harder to calm themselves Usually above average creativity, they can’t use this creativity in coping Even with a good plan: get discouraged/quit easily Fail to recognize their success
  7. 7.  Reassurance is a natural parental response to a child’s distress No reassurance » alone & insecure Children with anxiety: ask for reassurance far more often » VICIOUS cycle If the heavens are falling: no amount of kisses and hugs are too much, but for an excessive unjustified fear » child learns a wrong message
  8. 8.  Often it feels: “They could do it only if they tried a little harder” & it’s not easy NOT to become angry or frustrated on your anxious child Anger More fright & anxiety
  9. 9.  COPE method Calming the nervous system Originating an imaginative plan Persisting in the face of obstacles Evaluating and adjusting the plan
  10. 10.  Stressful Situation Fight/Flight Hard wired human response We should not elicit the FF response for every trivial situation Ways to calm the nervous sytema) Abdominal Breath Controlb) Sensory awareness :know your orangec) Personal Punching Pillow: Ventd) Know your heart Ratee) Paradoxical Paradigm (witch hairy, scary witch)f) Scale the fearsg) Link it to an ouch (rubber-band around wrist)
  11. 11.  Vertical vs. lateral thinking Writing stories (completion) Functional freedom (uses of brick) Mindless activities (don’t use in OCD) You be me Empty Chair Successive approximation
  12. 12.  Identify the problems It’s not scary after all. Glorify well intentioned mistakes Model moderate risk taking Negative vs Positive thoughts (write them down) We got your back…
  13. 13.  Plans are fluid Let them have feedback on their own (photos/videos) Charting success Pretest vs post test
  14. 14.  Pass on your own fears. Letting them face challenges is better than overprotection Leave perfectionism for your own self ALWAYS REMEMBER Reflective listening is the key !!!!
  15. 15.  Based on the Cool Kids Program, developed by Ronald Rapee Ph.D. and group at Macquarie University Sydney AUS.
  16. 16.  Based on Cognitive therapy principles Event “Iam waiting to be picked up from school, mom is late” Thought : She could be dead Evidence: its been only 10 minutes, (?) traffic, she was late twice before (never died), other kids are still there (not all parents could be dead) Reorganized Realistic thought: She is running late, and will arrive soon
  17. 17.  Rewarding Brave, non anxious behavior (no matter how small a bravery: start from there) Ignoring behaviors you don’t want Modeling brave, non-anxious behavior
  18. 18.  Be Consistent (more so for an anxious child) Keep your emotions in check Distinguish between anxious and naughty: even if anxious some behaviors are not pardonable Removal of privileges Natural consequences are sometimes the best teachers
  19. 19.  The MASTERPLAN1) Empathize what your child is feeling2) Re-label the problems (anxieties) as the worry brain3) Rewire, act with smarts not with fears4) Get body on board: deactivate alarms5) Refocus: on what we need to do6) Reinforce your child’s efforts at fighting
  20. 20.  Anxiety Disorders Association of America Worry Wise Kids : ting_child.html The Child Anxiety Network Cool Kids Program Sydney Australia: ams-guide/cool-kids-school-version/
  21. 21.  St. Louis Behavioral medicine Institute : 1129 Macklind Ave. Phone: 314-534-0200 Dr. Jennifer L Abel (Psychologist specializing in Anxiety disorders) 314 -721-7201 http://www.anxietystlouispsycholog Family Resource center 3rd floor in St. Louis Children’s Hospital : 314- 454-2350 tent/familyresourcecenter.htm Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, St. Louis, Inc 314-576- 4900
  22. 22. When I wasyoung, Iadmired cleverpeople. Nowthat I am old, Iadmire kindpeople.~AbrahamJoshua Heschel