Please Explain Anxiety to Me!
Do you have a child that suffers from anxiety? How about a family member?
Recently, I discovered this book online, Please Explain Anxiety to Me! I was immediately drawn to this book because of the high prevalence of anxiety in children today. According to the AADA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), “Anxiety disorders affect 25.1% of children between 13 and 18 years old. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse.”
Do children know what the word “anxiety” means? If they do, do they understand the simple biology of it? This book written by mother and son team, Laurie Zelinger, PhD and son Jordan Zelinger, MS Ed is a well written book for children about how anxiety develops with different strategies in helping to reduce it. The authors provide easy to understand analogies and describe complex vocabulary in a way that children can understand (e.g. sympathetic nervous system). To learn more information about this book, click here.
Tips When Reading This Book
When reading this book to your child, read each page and define specific words that are meaningful to the content of the book. Words such as amygdala and sympathetic nervous system are accurately described in the book but may need extra clarification. This is an ideal book for repeated readings since there is a lot of information to understand in this book. Rereading the book over time can help your children understand these more complex processes. To learn more about repeated readings, click here.
Strategies to Reduce Anxiety
The authors give some useful tips for children to help reduce anxiety at the end of the book such as Talk or Walk!, Blow Slow! Relax and Distract! This book is best read when also discussed with a health care professional such as social worker or psychologist since some strategies work well for one child and may be less effective for others.
Note to Parents
Fred Zelinger (husband to Laurie and father of Jordan) provides thoughtful advice and information at the end of the book about anxiety such as “Reading and re-reading this book with children will demystify anxiety, and provide families with the understanding needed to manage these uncomfortable emotions.”
To learn more about Laurie Zelinger and her other books, click here.
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