Moomah the Magazine
You and Your Anxious Child

You and Your Anxious Child

- Tracey Stewart

If I had to name the book that has had the greatest impact on me as a parent, it would hands down be You and Your Anxious Child by Dr. Anne Marie Albano. I’ve been lucky enough to work one on one with Dr. Anne Marie, and am so glad that her wealth of knowledge is now available to all. 

Reading this book really crystalized the tact that I need to undertake with my kids when their (and my own) fears arise. I do well with a game plan and this book really gave me a clear one to follow. 

As a renowned researcher and clinician, Dr. Anne Marie has developed coping strategies proven to lead families down a fear-free path of living. The book differentiates between separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, and social phobia. It guides parents on how and when to seek intervention, providing interesting case studies to help parents understand that they are not alone in what they are experiencing with their child. 

Dr. Anne Marie manages to illustrate therapies to manage anxiety issues in children, while still addressing the emotional needs of parents at the same time. The following is an excerpt from the beginning of the book, You and Your Anxious Child. See if you relate to what she’s saying and if you do, get thee to a bookstore.



Let me say something front and center. Anxiety disorders are not caused by bad parenting. This is a concern I hear over and over from distraught moms and dads. Ironically, however, the very instinct that makes for good parenting – the instinct to protect - may play a key role in perpetuating and deepening your child’s anxiety.

It’s natural for a parent to want to soothe a child who’s upset. And in many circumstances,that makes good parenting sense. But with an anxiety disorder, a parent’s reassurance actually has the opposite effect of what you expect. Instead of soothing the child, the reassurance makes him grow even more anxious, forcing the parent to hold on even tighter. Eventually, they may end up in a vicious cycle, with an overprotective parent feeding the fears of an overanxious child.


When you have a child who tends to get distressed, has difficulty soothing herself, and is anxious and afraid, a certain parenting style evolves. From early on, you’re always in comfort, protect and reassure mode. And your child never has an opportunity to learn the skills for handling her own friendships, nor does she get a chance to see that she’s blowing her fears out of proportion. So those fears remain in her, while you, slowly but surely, cross the line from concerned parent to over-involved.

It’s a vicious cycle-but a breakable one. By reading this book, you can learn how to stop rescuing and, instead, start empowering your child.


Posted in: Parenting   

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Recent Comments

Lisa Viger said…

This looks like an excellent book and one I wish I had when my own kids were very young.

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