How to treat anxiety for children

As an adult, we have many things to worry about and take care of. We worried about the next bills. worried-pay billsWe worried about our children, etc. Based on the scientists, women have an ability to duel with anxiety more than men. It means women’s brains can stand the volume stress, anxiety 5 times more than men’s brain. It’s still true with the young children, special little girls.

When Gne’s little sister was born, Gne felt uncomfortable because Gne little sister took all my mom’s attention. Yeah, Gne was jealous at that moment. As Gne had been taken care of my little sister until she was 6-years-old, that jealousy faded.

As the time flies, my mother still worries about my little sister -.- Gne still remembers my mom’s saying when my little sister asked to sleep over her friends. My mom said that it’s just CAN’T! My little sister is a girl. My mom doesn’t allow my little sister to sleep over her friend’s house (even female friends -.- ). That’s my mom’s policy. My mom doesn’t care about Gne since Gne is a male -.- Gne can sleep overnight outside the house, but not Gne little sister. And Gne’s little sister was arguing with mom about that issue.

The result: parents always do their parenting, and Gne’s little sister cried. My mom has her own worries, and also Gne’s little sister. My little sister back then has some worries that different with my mom.

However, Gne’s little sister anxiety isn’t serious.

How about other little girls? When they have the worries, would those little girls talk with her parents? Then, parents would believe in her worries? How to treat anxiety for children as the situation comes?

In reality, there are some parents doesn’t care about their young daughter’s worries. Like Anna’s parents.Anna - anxious little girl Anna’s a primary schooler, and she has a nickname “what if kid”. Her parents give that nickname to her as a result of her worried habit. Can you believe it? A young girl is over-worried about everything? Young children should be worried-free, don’t you agree with Gne?

You might don’t believe it, but Anna story is one case study in the book “Sometimes I worried too much, but now I know how to stop”.

This book is in the series “sometimes” of the Psychologist Ph. D Dawn A. Huebner. The collection has:

  • Sometimes I feel like I don’t have any friends, but not so much anymore.
  • Sometimes I like to fight, but I don’t do it much anymore.
  • Sometimes I drive my mom crazy, but I know she’s crazy about me
  • Sometimes I get sad, but now I know what makes me happy
  • Sometimes I don’t like to talk, but sometimes I can’t keep quiet

The main purpose of the collection is helping children.

Each individual has their own. Therefore, we need to analyze how Dr. Green helps Anna reducing her worries. Then, you would design your own way to rip off the anxiety. If the treatment works in children, then for adults, it still has some effects, influences. Gne thinks that for rip off the anxiety in adults, we need to add more. If Gne would design it, Gne would use the Dr. Green treatment as the core treatment plan, then adding “the Power of habit” because worried too much, too often, it would become a negative habit.

Overall about Anna case study

Anna used to worry a lot. She worried about many things around her. Those worries kept pop pop pop in her head like the popcorn as we microwave it. It’s little rare that Anna’s worried about things when her age is about the primary schooler. She has a friend, Hope ( -.- That name comes in the book and Gne sees the purpose of that “Hope friend”…)

In the past, Anna has daily worries such as:

  • When Anna is waiting in a bus stop with other peers for the school bus, Anna worries what if it has rain today? If it’s rain, Anna doesn’t bring the umbrella with her. Then, what if she caught a rain? Would her mother nag her as result of getting wet? Would her mother doesn’t love her anymore because she gets wet by rain?
  • For the breakfast, Anna worries what if her family refrigerator doesn’t have cream cheese anymore?
  • What if today Hope doesn’t come to the school?
  • What if Hope still has a sore throat, therefore no one will play with me?
  • What if I forget to put my homework in my backpack?
  • What if our dog Topper gets sick?
  • What if we run out of money for food?

Can you tell the reason Anna has many things to worry about?

It’s simple: Anna is a detailed orientation 😀 Therefore, Gne had much time to worry about nothing like Anna. Of course, like Anna, now Gne can stop my generalized anxiety before reading this book :3 ( Gne can do that thanks to one special person – gf – hi hi Oops out of topic 😛 Gne will share it more in another different website in the future, not now)small spider

Perhaps, just some little girls who pay attention to such as small stuff like Anna.

For example, when Anna’s mother is ironing the clothes, Anna can skim the tiniest little frown from mom’s clothes.

Or Anna eyes on the spider across the room.

 

Once time Anna gets together with her grandparents, Anna is distracted from the Go Fish card game with grandma to grandpa’s new paper. Anna spots the word “FIRE” at the newspaper first page since the word is the new spelling vocabulary that Anna just learns during the week.

Now, how Dr. Green helps Anna slowly rip off her anxiety?

Since the book is written for children to read, Dawn Huebner keeps it very simple and easy to understand. For us, Gne will recite how the Psychologist treats Anna’s anxiety.

The treatment is CBT – Cognitive Behavior Therapy. (by click on the link, it will link you to my old post which shares more about CBT information)

For children, it’s simple a talk, a conversation between he/she with the doctor. For Anna, she is comfortable to talk with Dr. Green because she helps Anna to cure Anna’s stomachache. The general practitioner doesn’t believe Anna’s stomachache because the test result shows nothing wrong with Anna healthy body. It means Anna’s stomachache is just the stimulation of anxiety. ( When you are worried, you would have a stomachache since it’s part of our body system)

First of all, warm up the conversation. Dr. Green asks general stuff such as school, friends.

Then, go further with personalities like hobbies. For Anna in the book, she likes drawing. That makes Anna forgets about her worries.

The first stage of CBT is what we think. What do you think about the anxiety?

As Dr. Green, “worries are like stones. Most people hardly notice them, …pick them up and put them in my pocket”(with the knowledge of primary schooler, Anna doesn’t understand the illustration. However, that might be the best example for children to understand.)

small stones pebbles

Imagine each worried = one small stone. -> when you carry too much worried, you fill out yourself with many small stones. (but look at one positive side a little. When we carry many small stones, we are training our physical strength, don’t we? Some fitness people drag on one big car’s tire for the run training. Or push up with 40 Lbs car tire on the shoulder)

What we feel is the second stage of CBT. When we have the generalized anxiety, we feel the gravity does some trick on our shoulder. For adults, we usually feel like a big stone on our shoulder. We would have the feeling to lift our planet by self.

lift-world

Last stage: cognition. For adults like us, after talking a few more session with Psychologist, we can acknowledge about our problem. Therefore, we can discuss with Psychologist to come up the solution.

For young children like Anna, Dr. Green asks her to do some routines. -> Find the most comfortable chair in Anna’s house ->  As Anna worries about something, she needs to wait-> wait after dinner time.

After the dinner time-> it would call “Anna’s worry time”. The limit time is only 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, Anna CAN NOT TALK ABOUT HER WORRIES when she’s out of that chair.

That is the period during a day for Anna to release all her worried thought to her parents. As Anna sits on the chair, her parents need to listen to her worries. If can, they answer her worries and help her to feel better.

By doing “Anna’s worry time” for a while, Anna slowly changes. She realizes that some days, she has a lot of things to worry about. Some days, she doesn’t have one.

Until this point, Anna basically rips off her worry. However, worrying becomes Anna’s habit. Therefore, Dr. Green needs to replace the habit’s routine by doing physical or thinking about something.

Dr. Green askes Anna to learn about jumping hurdles, and how to jump over the roadblock then continue on the way.

Upgrade it until the next level, Dr. Green guides Anna to solve her worries. They list all worries Anna has. Then, focusing on one worry-> think about the solution-> Dr. Green is teaching the solving-problem skill.

Final thought

Less than 20 bucks for a brand new book “Sometimes I worry too much, but now I know how to stop”, you are not just learning how to treat anxiety for children. You know about Psychologist’s tricks during the book. Then would you not design your own treatment for your children? You also teach children about solving-problem skill.

Do you notice that reading this book is one way to distract anxious children from their worries?

If reading is boring, how about painting while reading? some used book pictures might leave blank, that’s an opportunity for children to coloring the book-> personalized it!

You can find a new book on Amazon

Or a used book from Abebooks with less than $15 and free shipping within the USA.

Or National Autism Resources

( P/S disclosure: Those are affiliate links. If you place an order through those links, I would receive a dollar as a commission 😀 thank you in advance!)

Have you tried this method? Do you think it will work for your children?

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