Managing Anxiety: How to Help Children Name, Claim and Tame Their Distress
Published January 5, 2018
38 min
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    Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults. Persistent worry has a lasting negative impact on both mind and body. In children, anxiety often looks like avoidance, clinging, aggression and other challenging behaviors. This can make it difficult for adults to recognize and support children in managing the anxiety that’s at the root of the behavior. In this episode, Jill Molli teaches us new skills as she shares her personal journey with her own anxiety and with helping her daughter manage similar feelings. Discover the powerful transformation that occurs as Jill and Meg shift from thinking about anxiety to naming the feeling, taming it and developing healthy strategies for managing it. Essential Takeaways • Anxiety in children presents itself through many different behaviors. • A child’s ability to self-regulate won’t develop without first experiencing co-regulation with a calm adult. • Naming the feeling, rather than asking a child to think about the feeling, is the first step in managing anxiety. Steps for Tomorrow • When you or a child feels anxious, name and acknowledge the feeling rather than questioning why it is there. • Practice active calming so you can become a co-regulator for children who feel anxious. Important Links: Video: Naming and Taming Anxiety: Products: Managing Emotional Mayhem Show Outline (time stamps) – :23 What is Conscious Discipline 1:21 Effects of anxiety and types of anxiety in children 5:23 Introduction of guest Jill Molli 6:24 Jill’s story of growing up anxious 8:55 Genetics and anxiety 9:32 Story of Jill recognizing anxiety in her daughter 13:42 The progression of anxiety as Jill’s daughter got older 15:30 Effect of new experiences on people who experience anxiety 16:56 Naming the feeling to tame it 19:51 Having a “person” to help download calm 21:49 The Safe Place and its purpose 24:02 Asking the child to think about anxiety through questioning won’t help 25:05 Jill’s story of where her anxiety came from 27:25 Story of Meg’s anxiety as a teen during soccer games 30:57 How Jill’s journey has helped her support teachers and other children 32:44 Meg’s essay about anxiety
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