Ten million children in the United States-two million of them preschoolers-suffer from anxiety. Anxious children may be afraid to be out of their parents' sight; they may refuse to talk except to specific people or under specific circumstances; they may insist on performing tasks such as brushing teeth or getting ready for bed in a rigidly specific way. For many children these difficulties interfere with doing well in school and making friends as well as with daily activities like sleeping, eating, and bathing. Untreated anxiety can have a devastating effect on a child's future emotional, social, academic, and work life. And since most kids don't naturally outgrow anxiety, parents need to kw how to help.In Calming Your Anxious Child, Dr. Kathleen Trair builds on cognitive behavioral therapy to provide practical steps for guiding parents through the process of helping their children manage their anxieties and gain control over their worry-based behaviors. Dr. Trair's method involves identifying the anxieties and the behaviors, rating them, agreeing on what behaviors to work on changing, identifying strategies for changing behaviors, ting and charting progress, offering incentives, and reinforcing progress.Combining family stories with practical advice and support, Calming Your Anxious Child teaches parents and caregivers how to empower their children to overcome their worried thoughts and behaviors. Children who have generalized anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, separation anxiety, phobias, or PTSD can all benefit from Dr. Trair's method, which also helps parents move from feeling controlled by their child's anxiety to feeling that they are in control of their family's future.
Kathleen Trainor, PsyD, is a child psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School.