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A Kids Guide to Overcoming Worry & Anxiety (made simple)

Extracurricular Activities and Child Anxiety

Extracurricular Activities and Child Anxiety

 

These days if your kid is not in three sports and playing

at least one instrument with a school tutor to boot—you stink as a parent

and your kids are supposedly lacking. Ironic isn’t is that in this day and

age we also have more stressed out, anxious and depressed kids.

 

Think about that—

 

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Is Your Child a Jumper or Dipper?

 

Is Your Child a Jumper or A Dipper?

 

Just Jump In!

No!

 

Some people like to just jump in. Hail to the jumpers!

But me, I’m a dipper.

I like to dip my toes, feet and little by little..I go all the way in.

My kids laugh. “Mom, just do it..just dive in..it’s not cold”.

Yea right, it’s not cold.

 

Many kids are the same way. They are dippers not jumpers.

And that’s okay.

Not all kids are fearless about all things.

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Anxiety Tools for Kids

 

                                                    

 

While we have tools to help children overcome debilitating anxiety by teaching them the art of exposure and acceptance- it is important to understand that children like adults naturally avoid pain and seek pleasure according to the pain-pleasure principal. Therefore, the sensations caused by anxiety are naturally going to be avoided.

 

To overcome anxiety one must perceive the pain they will go through during exposure to have a further purpose which is to increase pleasure (no more anxiety). They must give up their current state of comfort or pleasure (avoiding anxious sensations) to gain future pleasure of freedom from anxiety.

 

Sometimes the sensations of anxiety are so intense that exposure is just not something the person is willing to do. Remember -exposure is when we do the very thing that scares the heck out of us allowing all of the very sensations we naturally want to avoid like the racing and pounding heart, dizzy head, upset tummy..you get the idea.

 

So when the cure for an anxiety disorders calls to actually bring about or ‘expose’ oneself to those terrifying feelings we often just avoid and adapt our lives around feeling safe instead-Not living full lives void of anxiety.

 

When we allow our children to learn the MFC or magic finger countdown as adults have learned Panic Away’s 21, we give them a tool that allows them to feel a sense of control over the anxiety during exposure. With the MFC they feel safe to expose themselves to their fears and little by little they become confident in their body’s ability to handle those scary sensations.

 

With continued exposure (gradual exposure)  sensations fade because the fear fades. Eventually leaving only a memory of what it was like to have anxiety.

 

The idea at first is to gain a sense of control over the sensations by using the MFC. This perceived sense of control allows children (and adults) to actually engage in exposure with a sense of control and confidence. Many times without the MFC the child will not agree to engage in exposure at all. This is key. Getting the child to expose- and you have a better chance of doing this if they have the MFC tool.

 

Eventually, the ultimate goal is to feel safe with the sensations -no longer fearing an anxiety or panic attack. Once we no longer fear a panic or anxiety attack -we break the cycle and panic attacks no longer occur. Panic attacks are the result of fear of fear. Once you are no longer afraid to have a panic attack -because you know you are safe in your own body- you stop having them.

 

Giving tools to children to use during exposure process allows them to feel a sense of confidence to attempt and see the exposure process through. Eventually they will no longer need to use the MFC as they will have the confidence to embrace and accept sensations anxiety causes because they will have had experiences through the exposure process that reminds them -that their body can keep them safe even during the worst anxiety attack.  And, ironically, when one embraces and accepts the very feelings they fear--this is when debilitating anxiety really ends.

 

Embracing and accepting the very sensations you fear is your way to freedom.

What to Do When Your Child is Too Scared to Enjoy Halloween?!

 

Halloween ghosts, goblins and witches are sure to excite your little ones!

 

Now, depending on your little boy or girl, Halloween may also ignite some bedtime fears.

Bedtime fears can drain a child’s confidence, disrupt a good night’s sleep and worse off

breed the seed of fear.

 

Night fears are most common in children ages 3-6 because "this is the age at which normal

fears develop and a child's imagination is very active". (WebMD, 2013).

Many experts would recommend comforting and reassurance. Indeed comfort and reassure

your child but do this by teaching them a tool to handle scary situations even when your

are not there to help them. Give them the tools to master their scary feelings.

Their confidence will soar!

 

Scary thoughts create scary feelings.

A feeling can create all kinds of sensations like trembling legs, sweaty palms, upset tummy and such.

The list goes on...

And to top it off--if your child is very creative and has a wonderful imagination---well, you may

have a little one capable of thinking up just about anything (yikes!). The upside is that creativity

has been linked to high IQ. No, kidding! You never know--you may have to work with some night

time fears but you could be raising the next Einstein! (Who knew!)

 

Try gradually exposing your child to fun friendly costumes, books and movies. You can find

a list of these movies and books on our new Facebook page- Scaredies Away!

 

Happy Halloween!

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