What Parents Should Know About Anxiety in Children

If you are reading this, you or your child (or both of you) probably has some anxiety. You may be surprised to know that everyone has some stress, anxiety, or fear. It is part of the human condition. Our biology wires us to recognize and perceive danger. These are survival instincts, and actually quite miraculous. Anxiety allows us to stop, rather than walk out into traffic. It allows us an opportunity to question whether we should make decisions involving safety or taking risks. Anxiety can help us consider the feelings of others when we make decisions.

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Shy Girl Behind Book

How to Help a Shy Teen Make Friends

New longitudinal research, published by the University of Michigan, based on students from 1991-2012, found that students have smaller groups of peers than they did a generation ago. However, the data also suggests that due to increased contact through electronics and on-line exchanges, relationships tend to be closer than they were 20 years ago. Other research has also found that as teens rely more on electronics, they tend to become less interested and less skilled at direct, face-to-face social interactions

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Test anxiety

The Power of Positive Thinking for Anxious Children

“In a new study, one group of researchers (Hogendoorn et al, 2014) attempted to find what parts of cognitive behavioral therapy were most helpful for anxious youth. Their findings were somewhat surprising. The children in their study benefited the most from the therapist coaching positive thinking skills (“I can do it,” “It’s not so bad,” etc.), rather than the therapist trying to decrease negative thinking patterns (“I don’t want to go.” “They’ll be mean.”) “

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Boy walking to kindergarten

Taking Kindergarteners Behavioral Health Seriously

Kindergartners are fabulous kids. They are often joyful, exuberant, and creative. They are capable of many new developmental tasks, including turn-taking, pretend play with other children, feeling “grown-up,” independent play, seeking adult approval, and demonstrating a sense of humor with children and adults. They are beginning to read, spell, and do some math. All of […]

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Parenting Depression

Protecting Teens from Depression

Many parents struggle with a moody child, “tween,” or adolescent. At these ages, children are discovering their own identity, and managing the stress of school, parents, peers, and their future. In addition, they are going through vast changes in physical and emotional development. Who, in their shoes, wouldn’t be a little up and down? Adolescent […]

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Child with Flower Outdoors

PTSD in Preschoolers

For many years, preschool children have been overlooked in terms of mental health care identification and services. Some people believe that they may not remember their experiences as they get older, and thus, negate the need for treatment. Because preschoolers are often very happy and active, other people find it hard to believe they could […]

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Girl with bunny

Teaching Assertiveness to Children with Social Anxiety

Oftentimes, parents, educators, and therapists teach anxious children social skills, such as assertiveness. Assertiveness skills are used to negotiate conflict or to ask someone else to do something differently. For example, an assertive 12 year-old girl may ask a peer to stop speaking negatively about a friend by saying something like, “Let’s not talk about […]

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