Coping with the “What If” of Anxious Thinking (Part 1)

    We all play the “what if” game at some time.  What if I miss the train, what if my mom forgets to pick me up, what if I fail my test, what if I don’t get asked to the prom.  At different ages, different kinds of “what if” thinking are more prominent. What if I don’t get the promotion, what if something bad happens to my children, what if I don’t count my bites of food and something happens to me. But when “what if “thinking paralyzes people, it keeps them from truly living their lives. When … [Read more...]

How to Communicate Better with People You Care About – Part 2

    In the previous blog, I talked about some simple rules for better communication, like avoiding old history and labeling. Today, I Want to add some more complex guidelines that are really useful when trying to navigate a difficult situation with someone you care about. It goes without saying that someone will be more receptive to hearing what you say if you keep your body language open and welcoming. How you look to others tells them how willing you are to communicate. If your arms are … [Read more...]

Helping Your Anxious Child When School Re-Opens

For children who already struggled with anxiety, the Covid-19 pandemic has added another layer of worries. And for those kids who were not worriers, this time being home-bound may have started them on some fears that we never anticipated. For both groups, however, going back to school may have caused similar concerns. Recently, a middle-school child told me, “I can’t imagine wearing a mask for hours! At least at home, I don’t have to wear one. And when we go out, I only have to wear it for a … [Read more...]

Helping Anxious Kids During the Time of Coronavirus

Most of the time, children are resilient.  They bounce back pretty quickly.  Of course, there are always those kids who have a harder time with change or with difficult circumstances, kids that Dr. Thomas Boyce refers to as the “orchids” in the greenhouse They are the ones who are more sensitive to their environment than usual and require more attention than the average child.  Understanding the Orchid Child    Today, however, it may feel like every child is an orchid.  With the coronavirus … [Read more...]

Conquering Back-to-School Anxiety

     Many children experience anxiety prior to the start of the school year, and for some of them, it continues well into the first marking period.  This anxiety is not limited to elementary school children; it can affect middle school and even high school students. Your child’s anxiety can lead to resistance and lateness in the mornings, arguments about having to go to school, tears or emotional withdrawal.  You want to help your child but what should you do? Here are some ideas … [Read more...]