Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Opposite of Worry

The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and FearsThe Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears by Lawrence J. Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a digital coy from

"Whether it’s the monster in the closet or the fear that arises from new social situations, school, or sports, anxiety can be especially challenging and maddening for children. And since anxiety has a mind of its own, logic and reassurance often fail, leaving parents increasingly frustrated about how to help. Now Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., the author ofPlayful Parenting, provides a special set of tools to handle childhood anxiety. Offering simple, effective strategies that build connection through fun, play, and empathy, Dr. Cohen helps parents

• start from a place of warmth, compassion, and understanding
• teach children the basics of the body’s “security system”: alert, alarm, assessment, and all clear. 
• promote tolerance of uncertainty and discomfort by finding the balance between outright avoidance and “white-knuckling” through a fear
• find lighthearted ways to release tension in the moment, labeling stressful emotions on a child-friendly scale 
• tackle their own anxieties so they can stay calm when a child is distressed
• bring children out of their anxious thoughts and into their bodies by using relaxation, breathing, writing, drawing, and playful roughhousing

With this insightful resource of easy-to-implement solutions and strategies, you and your child can experience theopposite of worry, anxiety, and fear and embrace connection, trust, and joy."

The description that came with the book is pretty accurate. It is a easy read and well organized book. The strategies are more game like which would make them more approachable for a anxious child.

There are some good tips in this one such as to not invalidate your child's fears. By saying oh there is no monster there when to them there is may do more harm than good. It may make them more anxious rather than reducing the anxiety.

There are a few different strategies such as teaching your child their alarm mode. When they feel it coming on they can think and react. Most kids with anxiety are always on high alert. They are always looking for the next scary thing. By teaching them how to look at situations differently in a fun game like way the anxiety can be lessened.

This was of interest to us because Lucy is very anxious herself. Even simple things can be hard for her to do because of fear. One of her biggest triggers are storms. She just sees a storm warning and is on high alert. Even to the point she makes her brothers come inside even if the storm is two counties away. We have tried everything and nothing works so maybe now we can try some of these ideas the next time around and see if it works.

If you have a axious child you might want to give this book a go. It is short simple read and very easy to understand.  A very welcome change to the typical psychological wordiness of many anxiety books.

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