As a therapist for children and families for over 15 years I have seen how anxiety can wreak havoc within a family system. When a child is experiencing anxiety, the parents feel helpless and are often anxiously wanting to know what they can do to help their child. It’s important for parents of children with anxiety to have resources, information, and support. Here are some of my top recommendations for parents who have children with anxiety.
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Helping Your Anxious Child is a book I personally love as it leaves parents feeling less alone and more empowered as to how they can be a powerful agent of healing, growth and positive change for their child.
Ultimately we want our children to grow up to have an intrinsic sense of worth, value and to be independent and free from the grip of anxiety. This book called Anxious Kids Anxious Parents: 7 Steps to Stop the Worry Cycle & Raise Independent Courageous Children gives parents direct guidance in a DIY way.
One of my favorite newer books for parents is Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance as it uses a powerful modality of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy that helps parents along with the children with anxiety.
Finally, I really do recommend that parents seek professional support from a Registered Play Therapist in your community who has training and expertise in helping children with anxiety. Play Therapy is a very specialized modality that has many approaches. When I teach play therapy courses to therapists for continuing education I teach that all play therapy is on a foundation of the tenets of Child Centered Play Therapy helping the child to feel seen, heard and respected. From there, with more advanced training that is backed by evidence-based research, we take a Prescriptive Play Therapy approach which considers what and how the child presents in sessions and adapts the treatment plan accordingly. Most often, with children suffering from anxiety, research indicates a cognitive behavioral play therapy is very effective along with more expressive play therapy modalities that utilize sand tray and art interventions. To find a registered play therapist in your community visit the Association for Play Therapy Directory.
*Some of the links in this article are affiliate partner links which provide me an opportunity to receive a small portion of your purchase in order to allow me to continue to provide free resources, training and support.