Does Your Child Worry Too Much?
This week, I’ll be doing a presentation on how to understand and effectively respond to anxiety in children & adolescents at The Hillside School in Allentown, PA. There’s some natural overlap between this presentation and my Brain-Based Strategies for Helping Kids Calm Down workshop, as both anxiety and anger are brain-issues at their core–uncomfortable states caused by the triggering of the amygdala.
The bad news: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million people or 18.1% of the population every year.
The good news: Anxiety disorders are highly treatable.
Being able to recognize the symptoms of anxiety for what they are, rather than confusing them with stubbornness, drama, or defiance is a key factor in meeting kids needs and helping them feel heard and understood. The article below, 15 Things Kids or Teens Say That Could Mean ‘I’m Anxious’–Where they Come From and How to Respond, is a great resource for helping adults to ‘decode’ the common ways kids describe their anxiety, in order to respond more effectively.
Another priority I’ll be talking about at Hillside is the importance of teaching kids–at a developmentally appropriate level–about their neuro-anatomy. Knowledge is power and even very young kids benefit from understanding the connection between their brains, their feelings, and their behaviors. The second post below, What Anxious and Angry Kids Need to Know About Their Brain, offers a terrific script for teaching little ones about their brain. My book, The 8 Keys To End Bullying Activity Book for Kids & Teens, offers explanations and activities for upper elementary and middle school aged kiddos on this same topic.
UPDATE, 4/27/18: Thanks to all who attended the presentation at Hillside last night. For those who attended–and those who emailed me because they were not able to attend but would like information–here are the video-instructions for making the Mindfulness Beads, as well as well as the HandBrain Model video from Dr. Dan Siegal.
For more information on training programs related to helping young people cope with anxiety, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact form on this site.