Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Anxious Kids Anxious Parents

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Review - Anxious Kids Anxious Parents

Anxious Kids Anxious Parents
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About the Book
With anxiety at epidemic levels among our children, Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents offers a contrarian yet effective approach to help children and teens push through their fears, worries, and phobias to ultimately become more resilient, independent, and happy.

How do you manage a child who gets stomachaches every school morning, who refuses after-school activities, or who is trapped in the bathroom with compulsive washing? Children like these put a palpable strain on frustrated, helpless parents and teachers. And there is no escaping the problem: One in every five kids suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

Unfortunately, when parents or professionals offer help in traditional ways, they unknowingly reinforce a child's worry and avoidance. From their success with hundreds of organizations, schools, and families, Reid Wilson, PhD, and Lynn Lyons, LICSW, share their unconventional approach of stepping into uncertainty in a way that is currently unfamiliar but infinitely successful.

Using current research and contemporary examples, the book exposes the most common anxiety-enhancing patterns—including reassurance, accommodation, avoidance, and poor problem solving—and offers a concrete plan with 7 key principles that foster change. And, since new research reveals how anxious parents typically make for anxious children, the book offers exercises and techniques to change both the children's and the parental patterns of thinking and behaving.

This book challenges our basic instincts about how to help fearful kids and will serve as the antidote for an anxious nation of kids and their parents. Readers will learn the difference between healthy worrying and debilitating anxiety and gain concrete skills to parent children and teens. Action, not avoidance, is the key to success. By following this powerful program, children will gain the encouragement to realize their independence and courage.


Reid Wilson, Ph.D. is the Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is author of Don't Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks and the coauthor of Stop Obsessing! How to Overcome Your Obsessions and Compulsions.

Lynn Lyons, LICSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice and a sought-after speaker and consultant. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults and children, including generalized anxiety, phobias, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and performance anxiety.

My Take on the Book
My eldest daughter has always been an anxious child and my wife and we have been challenged throughout her life with how best to work with her.  She tends to shut down when she is scared, tired or stressed, which are all signs of anxiety. This book had so many  great resources held within it that I was able to learn from. The book also gives you some great ideas about how to handle kids like my daughter. I liked the way that the author has placed seven steps for parents that were easy to understand and implement. Each chapter in the book explores a new element that needs to be examined. The elements are thoroughly examined and practical approaches/practices are discussed on how to examine these further. In the end parents can better understand how what they do can effect and sometime worsen the reactions of their children. This was a great read and something I highly recommend all parents to read!

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