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Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, Revised and Updated Edition: Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for Life--from Toddlers to Teens

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Childhood should be a happy, carefree time. Yet too many children are stressed-out and exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. In Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, childhood anxiety expert Dr. Tamar Chansky shares a proven approach for helping children build emotional resilience for a happier and healthier life. Parents everywhere want to know: What is normal? How can you know when Childhood should be a happy, carefree time. Yet too many children are stressed-out and exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. In Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, childhood anxiety expert Dr. Tamar Chansky shares a proven approach for helping children build emotional resilience for a happier and healthier life. Parents everywhere want to know: What is normal? How can you know when stress has crossed over into a full-blown anxiety disorder? How can you prevent anxiety from taking root? And how do you help your son or daughter break free from a pattern of fear and worry and lead a happy, productive life? Fortunately, anxiety is very treatable, and parents can do a lot to help get their children’s emotional well-being back on track. Freeing Your Child from Anxiety contains easy, fun, and effective tools for teaching children to outsmart their worries and take charge of their fears. This revised and updated edition also teaches how to prepare children to withstand the pressure in our competitive test-driven culture. Learn the tips, techniques, and exercises kids need to implement the book’s advice right away, including “How to Talk to Your Child” sections and “Do It Today” activities at the end of each chapter. These simple solutions can help parents prevent their children from needlessly suffering today—and ensure that their children have the tools they need for a good life tomorrow.


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Childhood should be a happy, carefree time. Yet too many children are stressed-out and exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. In Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, childhood anxiety expert Dr. Tamar Chansky shares a proven approach for helping children build emotional resilience for a happier and healthier life. Parents everywhere want to know: What is normal? How can you know when Childhood should be a happy, carefree time. Yet too many children are stressed-out and exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. In Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, childhood anxiety expert Dr. Tamar Chansky shares a proven approach for helping children build emotional resilience for a happier and healthier life. Parents everywhere want to know: What is normal? How can you know when stress has crossed over into a full-blown anxiety disorder? How can you prevent anxiety from taking root? And how do you help your son or daughter break free from a pattern of fear and worry and lead a happy, productive life? Fortunately, anxiety is very treatable, and parents can do a lot to help get their children’s emotional well-being back on track. Freeing Your Child from Anxiety contains easy, fun, and effective tools for teaching children to outsmart their worries and take charge of their fears. This revised and updated edition also teaches how to prepare children to withstand the pressure in our competitive test-driven culture. Learn the tips, techniques, and exercises kids need to implement the book’s advice right away, including “How to Talk to Your Child” sections and “Do It Today” activities at the end of each chapter. These simple solutions can help parents prevent their children from needlessly suffering today—and ensure that their children have the tools they need for a good life tomorrow.

30 review for Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, Revised and Updated Edition: Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for Life--from Toddlers to Teens

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    Hard for me to judge this book completely because it didn't really suit our needs. My almost 7 year old daughter has issues with very specific anxious thoughts. She is in particular worried about poison or poisonous things, like she worries about someone touching a poisonous mushroom. She is an anxious kid in general about things that she is unsure about, but socially she is very happy and well-adjusted. I've talked to my daughter's pediatrician and teacher about these issues, and my daughter's Hard for me to judge this book completely because it didn't really suit our needs. My almost 7 year old daughter has issues with very specific anxious thoughts. She is in particular worried about poison or poisonous things, like she worries about someone touching a poisonous mushroom. She is an anxious kid in general about things that she is unsure about, but socially she is very happy and well-adjusted. I've talked to my daughter's pediatrician and teacher about these issues, and my daughter's doctor recommended this book. While I took some useful advice from it, most of the book really didn't pertain to us or had situations much more severe than what we deal with. I got a few good ideas, but not enough to justify reading the whole thing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I don't give five stars lightly (lol because my reviews MATTER) but this book is seriously amazing. I would recommend it to any parent who is concerned about their child's anxiety. The author, a licensed psychologist and the founder of the Children's and Adults' Center for OCD and Anxiety, gives real, practical tools that parents can use to determine whether their child's anxiety is normal or problematic, and then provides tools parents can use to help their child overcome that anxiety. And hones I don't give five stars lightly (lol because my reviews MATTER) but this book is seriously amazing. I would recommend it to any parent who is concerned about their child's anxiety. The author, a licensed psychologist and the founder of the Children's and Adults' Center for OCD and Anxiety, gives real, practical tools that parents can use to determine whether their child's anxiety is normal or problematic, and then provides tools parents can use to help their child overcome that anxiety. And honestly, the tools she describes (especially the ones for teenagers) would probably be equally effective for adults! Dr. Chansky also discusses treatments such as CBT and medication, and when they're effective and when they are not. The information is presented clearly and non-judgmentally, and is easily accessible even to a non-scientist like me. It's an incredibly useful and helpful book. I give it ALL the stars!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    This book is excellent. I love that it avoids psycho-babble. It is written in normal people language and gives people the practical words and specific activities and conversations that can be helpful to children who are suffering from anxiety. This is such an important tool for parents. I think a lot of times when kids are showing strange behaviors, parents are handed medication or they are told the work needs to be done in therapy, but they aren’t given tools to help support their child and so This book is excellent. I love that it avoids psycho-babble. It is written in normal people language and gives people the practical words and specific activities and conversations that can be helpful to children who are suffering from anxiety. This is such an important tool for parents. I think a lot of times when kids are showing strange behaviors, parents are handed medication or they are told the work needs to be done in therapy, but they aren’t given tools to help support their child and so they feel stuck and afraid. This book is empowering and helpful. It is very comprehensive, taking time to address anxiety in general and then every specific anxiety disorder. The author is incredibly knowledgeable, compassionate, and hopeful.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book was extremely helpful in tackling some of my daughter Julia's anxiety. They gave some great practical tips like having a worry time set aside, helping Julia to find her own solutions to her worry, giving the worry a name like the worry bug, differentiating between what she thinks will happen and what she feels will happen, and bullying the worry but telling it things like, "I'm safe, I know my Mom will pick me up, stop telling me she isn't coming." Another helpful one was also A Grandp This book was extremely helpful in tackling some of my daughter Julia's anxiety. They gave some great practical tips like having a worry time set aside, helping Julia to find her own solutions to her worry, giving the worry a name like the worry bug, differentiating between what she thinks will happen and what she feels will happen, and bullying the worry but telling it things like, "I'm safe, I know my Mom will pick me up, stop telling me she isn't coming." Another helpful one was also A Grandpa suggestion to write down the worry and then write down the outcome of what happens later. It was so insightful to me to be able to get a better grip of what is going on inside her head when the worry starts. I think this book would help anyone with a family struggling with any kind of worry and anxiety issues. I skimmed some of the other chapters that I felt didn't apply as much, but then started to remember my son's Phobia of bridges, so it was helpful for many members of the family. My only wish was that the book would have had a quick sum up at the end of each chapter so that I could look back and reference ideas they had when I need them in a jam.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I liked the illustrations of tactics to work through with my child. I have begun this work & my child has asked when we will do more with it which is a wonderful sign that he is willing to accept that this is what is going on in his mind and that he really does need help with it. The information presented seemed common sense & easy to implement. See my updates below for my more specific take-aways. Also, one does not need to read the book entirely, I only read the sections that pertained to my s I liked the illustrations of tactics to work through with my child. I have begun this work & my child has asked when we will do more with it which is a wonderful sign that he is willing to accept that this is what is going on in his mind and that he really does need help with it. The information presented seemed common sense & easy to implement. See my updates below for my more specific take-aways. Also, one does not need to read the book entirely, I only read the sections that pertained to my son's specific needs.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    To be completely honest I just skimmed this book - looking for what would fit for us. My daughter struggles a bit with anxiety and from this book I did find some helpful hints. However, most of this book deals with situations that are much more extreme that what I was looking for advice on.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Jacoby

    This is a fantastic book, whether for your child or yourself. The Author Tamar E. Chansky is a certified Psychiatrist. She does a great job at explaining the different types of anxiety, what they mean, and how to cope. Everything is laid out in a manner that could help anyone from birth to 160 years of age. All suggestions are adaptable and she provides examples on how to do just that. Well worth the read whether you have anxiety or know someone who does.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pascale

    I read this many years ago, and it has come handy on many occasions!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Good strategies. And most importantly, very skimmable. It's easy to get the gist from the first couple chapters and then go looking for what you're interested in. Good strategies. And most importantly, very skimmable. It's easy to get the gist from the first couple chapters and then go looking for what you're interested in.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laurian Vega

    My oldest suffers from anxiety and hyperactivity. While I wasn't looking for a book to talk about both, I felt like this book only presented a look at anxiety as it fits nicely within general disorders. The book does have a section where it talks about other disorders that are similar to anxiety, but doesn't really talk about how when you have one disorder you are likely to have others. I would have preferred that this book be framed around particular behaviors, why they exist, and how to manage My oldest suffers from anxiety and hyperactivity. While I wasn't looking for a book to talk about both, I felt like this book only presented a look at anxiety as it fits nicely within general disorders. The book does have a section where it talks about other disorders that are similar to anxiety, but doesn't really talk about how when you have one disorder you are likely to have others. I would have preferred that this book be framed around particular behaviors, why they exist, and how to manage them; instead the book is framed around different kinds of anxiety disorders. I did like the overall premise of the book - the framework for responding to a child who has anxiety. That has helped and continues to help. I find myself asking more questions rather than talking over the anxiety. That said, there didn't seem to be anything in here about how to deal with the child who has been screaming and crying for 45 minutes because they saw a spider. How do you cope in those moments? Those moments are real for parents with kids with anxiety and this book didn't scratch the surface for how to deal with those really traumatic events. You can't turn into Socrates when you child isn't able to control themselves physically because of phobias. Overall, a good starter. I would have preferred something more real.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    My daughter’s pediatrician recommended this book when I talked to her about helping Ellie with her anxiety. I now feel more equipped to be Ellie’s coach when she is struggling with various anxieties, though currently she is not struggling as much. I purchased a copy of this book so that I can have it on-hand as a reference in the future. (A good portion of the book is dedicated to specific disorders that aren’t applicable to us, but that’s what makes this a great resource for parents dealing with My daughter’s pediatrician recommended this book when I talked to her about helping Ellie with her anxiety. I now feel more equipped to be Ellie’s coach when she is struggling with various anxieties, though currently she is not struggling as much. I purchased a copy of this book so that I can have it on-hand as a reference in the future. (A good portion of the book is dedicated to specific disorders that aren’t applicable to us, but that’s what makes this a great resource for parents dealing with a spectrum of issues.) What I didn’t expect to get out of the book was help with my own anxiety. The skills and techniques that you’re supposed to teach your child are skills and techniques I can use when I’m stuck on “the worry track” or when I’m “wearing worry glasses.” We may not share the same worries, but if I can get practice successfully facing my own worries I can surely be better at empathizing and helping her. Two of my favorite quotes: “Remember the goal: it’s not to talk your children out of their fears, its to teach them how to talk themselves through their fears. Don’t remove the hurdle, but teach them how to jump over it.” p.9 “Understanding your child’s anxiety means accepting your child for who she is. Accepting your child doesn’t mean closing the door to change, it actually is the key to opening it.” p.13

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristylemmon

    This is by far the best book I have read about anxiety in children. My daughter has had 2 bouts of OCD that scared the living daylights out of me. In general, she is a bit anxious, but she has moved past the debilitating symptoms for which I am extremely grateful. I wish I had this book back then. But I found it extremely helpful for learning to deal with my own anxiety. I have already started using some of her techniques (i.e. relabeling worry thoughts as coming from the *worry brain*) and my k This is by far the best book I have read about anxiety in children. My daughter has had 2 bouts of OCD that scared the living daylights out of me. In general, she is a bit anxious, but she has moved past the debilitating symptoms for which I am extremely grateful. I wish I had this book back then. But I found it extremely helpful for learning to deal with my own anxiety. I have already started using some of her techniques (i.e. relabeling worry thoughts as coming from the *worry brain*) and my kids have responded really positively to it. She covers the gamut of anxiety disorders in a very understandable and practical way. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This was a required text for a professional development course I am currently taking. While it was a good book and I did find useful information in it, this book is written for parents, not school counselors. Therefore, I didn't get as much out of it as I had hoped. However, it is a great book for parents. This was a required text for a professional development course I am currently taking. While it was a good book and I did find useful information in it, this book is written for parents, not school counselors. Therefore, I didn't get as much out of it as I had hoped. However, it is a great book for parents.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lekeshua

    Great guide for parents wanting to learning about Anxiety in their children. I even found it helpful for myself and believe it could help adults. This guide offers solution options to help your child along with share stories of other children who are on a journey with anxiety. I appreciated the follow up responses from the children who have had success on their journey.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

    Great resource for those with anxious children, but more of a reference book to pick and choose what you need to read and what is applicable. The things taught are pretty straight forward and a great place to start and information on when to seek professional help.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kim Durand

    This book really helped me understand anxiety with empathy.. Very informative and would recommend 100%

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I read this as a part of ASCA's professional development course on children with anxiety. I first feel the need to say that the author explicitly recommends seeing a child therapist that is trained to deal with anxiety. She points out that therapy (sometimes in concert with meds) is effective. The tools and strategies she discusses in this book shouldn't be used as the sole treatment for serious anxiety. As a school counselor this is also important. I am not trained to treat anxiety. I am trained I read this as a part of ASCA's professional development course on children with anxiety. I first feel the need to say that the author explicitly recommends seeing a child therapist that is trained to deal with anxiety. She points out that therapy (sometimes in concert with meds) is effective. The tools and strategies she discusses in this book shouldn't be used as the sole treatment for serious anxiety. As a school counselor this is also important. I am not trained to treat anxiety. I am trained to help the child deal with anxiety in a school setting and can offer support for the child and family, but I do not do long term counseling. Referring to a qualified practitioner is key. The book is divided into 4 parts. Part one is a basic intro. Part 2 is where the meat is at. It deals with the nuts and bolts of dealing with anxiety in children: what works, what doesn't, steps you can take, making a plan, what happens if it doesn't work at first, etc. Part 3 got pretty repetitive for me. It breaks down steps in dealing with specific types of anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, tics, trauma, etc). The beginning of each chapter is very informative about the diagnosis, red flags to look for, what it feels like for the child, etc (all very helpful), but the rest of the chapters lay out plans for dealing with it that is basically just like the author lays out in part 2. I don't know if some of it could have been presented in graphics (since a lot of it was thoroughly explained previously) or if she could have referenced the specific pages in part 2... obviously I'm not an editor, but some of those chapters really dragged on since I had already read it. Part 4 is more nuts and bolts about general topics concerning anxiety: how to talk to your anxious child, working with the school, dealing with your own anxieties, etc. Overall, a very good book and one that I will keep in my office!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    Some good ideas about equipping kids to handle their fears (vs. parents always swooping in to the rescue). Often repetitive, but that makes the main ideas stick. You could definitely dip in, read the first few chapters and then cherry-pick if you're interested in ideas for a particular struggle or diagnosis. I read the whole thing just because I was curious. For me, God is missing, but Chansky does say that if your family is devout that your faith should be part of the conversation. I also found Some good ideas about equipping kids to handle their fears (vs. parents always swooping in to the rescue). Often repetitive, but that makes the main ideas stick. You could definitely dip in, read the first few chapters and then cherry-pick if you're interested in ideas for a particular struggle or diagnosis. I read the whole thing just because I was curious. For me, God is missing, but Chansky does say that if your family is devout that your faith should be part of the conversation. I also found some of the ways she suggests talking about/to fears (silly names, etc.) a little strange. It was definitely helpful to think about fear as separate from the child - so the anxiety is the problem, not your child. I know I made my child feel criticized in the past when I was trying to help and encourage through some intense fears. Lots to learn about brains and development and breaking big problems into smaller, manageable chunks. I wish I had had some of these strategies a few years ago when my child's fears were at all-time highs. Still, I think I'll end up applying some of these lessons moving forward.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Crisinda Tackett

    Very good practical steps for anyone wanting to help a child (and their parents) with anxiety. It’s lengthy and only the first half needs to be read to get her basic principles and ideas down but then you can read the chapter specific to your child’s diagnosis (if there is one). A GREAT resource for school counselors, social workers, psychologist, LMFT, mental health counselors working with children and parents.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book has been a game changer for me and my son who struggles with anxiety. It is full of practical, tangible strategies, even from the Introduction. I really like how it focuses on empowering the child so they learn to be the boss of their own thoughts and they can be confident to make a plan and take the steps they need to to overcome their anxiety. It has also provided helpful reminders as I confront worries and stressors as well.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Maigler

    This book was solid with many helpful tips. It wasn't a page turner that I actively enjoyed but I felt it was valuable and I'm glad I read it. I think it would is best for a person who deals with anxiety or a family member who wants to understand it better. It provides techniques one a therapist might assign so truly DIY therapy. This book was solid with many helpful tips. It wasn't a page turner that I actively enjoyed but I felt it was valuable and I'm glad I read it. I think it would is best for a person who deals with anxiety or a family member who wants to understand it better. It provides techniques one a therapist might assign so truly DIY therapy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stefu Smith

    This book has several good ideas for helping children get through many different forms of anxiety. I listened to an audio version and ended up concluding that it would make a better paper reference book. Although the audio version gives you a good overview.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    This is definitely a book for children with servere-ish anxiety disorders but there is some good discussion of frameworks for thinking about how to talk to children about fears and anxiety. It gives some good dialogue suggestions on how to talk your child through the fear.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kacy

    Tons of strategies Great book with a ton of strategies for helping you kiddo with anxiety. Sometimes felt repetitive because wanted to give specific strategies for different types of anxiety, but tons of good information.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

    Giving this 3 stars, because I didn't finish it, because I lost interest. (But I wish I could have finished it, because I would really like to free my child from anxiety!) Giving this 3 stars, because I didn't finish it, because I lost interest. (But I wish I could have finished it, because I would really like to free my child from anxiety!)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Noel

    I read the revised and updated version so I’m not sure how it compares to this one but it was so good and so helpful. Highly recommend it if you have a child that is showing signs of anxiety.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dave Johnson

    Helpful, some good hints on how to better handle situations.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Recommended reading for parents of kids with anxiety

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Such a great reference book for handling childhood anxiety. Specific strategies for teaching children to overcome their worries. Want to buy the book to have on hand!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Snyder

    Excellent help for working with my daughter and her general anxiety. Lots of helpful tools and methods to guide your child and help them stand up to worry.

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