Listeners have been asking me for an episode on supporting anxious children for a loooooong time, but I was really struggling to find anyone who didn't take a behaviorist-based approach (where behaviors are reinforced using the parent's attention (or stickers) or the withdrawal of the parent's attention or other 'privileges.').
Long-time listeners will see that these approaches don't really fit with how we usually view behavior on the show, which is an expression of a need - if you just focus on extinguishing 'undesirable' behavior, you haven't really done anything about the child's need and - even worse - you've sent a message to the child that they can't express their true feelings and needs to you.
Listener Jamie sent me a link a book called Beyond Behaviors (https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Behaviors-Compassion-Understand-Behavioral/dp/1683731190) written by today's guest, Dr. Mona Delahooke, and I immediately knew that Dr. Delahooke was the right person to guide us through this. Listener Jamie comes onto the show for the first time as well to co-interview Dr. Delahooke so we can really deeply understand our children's feelings and support them in meeting their true needs - and overcome their anxiety as well.
Also a reminder that the Your Child's Learning Mojo membership closes to new members on January 31 2020 - click here to learn more! (https://yourparentingmojo.com/learningmojo/)
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Jen: 01:28 (blank) Hello and welcome to the Your Parenting Mojo podcast. Today, we're talking about a topic that parents have been asking me about for ages and that is how to support children who are experiencing anxiety. Now, it's not super hard to find research on anxiety and on treatments for anxiety, but the hard part is finding someone who doesn't just see anxiety as an unwanted behavior that we need to extinguish using reinforcements and who actually sees anxiety as a potential cause for behaviors like having a bad attitude or lacking impulse control that we might typically think of as bad behavior rather than being caused by anxiety. So, we have a special guest today who's going to help us move beyond this view of anxiety and that's Dr. Mona Delahooke. Dr. Delahooke is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience caring for children in their families. She's a member of the American Psychological Association and holds the highest level of endorsement in the field of infant and toddler mental health in California, as a Reflective Practice Mentor. She has dedicated her career to promoting compassionate relationship-based neurodevelopmental interventions for children with developmental, behavioral, emotional and learning difficulties and has written a book called Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children's Behavioral Challenges. Welcome Dr. Delahooke.
Dr. Delahooke: 02:43 (blank) Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here.
Jen: 02:45 (blank) Thank you. And we have another special guest here today as well. We've heard about her, we've heard her words and now we're going to hear her very own voice. Today, we have with us listener, Jamie. She's not listener Jamie to us. She's Jamie Ramirez in real life and she and her wife are the proud parents of now 11-month-old daughter Elliot. Jamie struggled with anxiety for a good deal of her life and has also read on this topic a lot. And she was the one who suggested that I read Dr. Delahooke’s book and so when Dr. Delahooke agreed to an interview, it was only natural to ask Jamie to join me as a co-interviewer and she enthusiastically agreed. Welcome Jamie.
Jamie: 03:22 (blank) Hi.
Jen: 03:23 (blank) Yey, you’re here. All right, so let's start kind of at