A good book for an anxious kid's mom.
September 30, 2013 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a book or two about dealing with a very anxious pre-teen?

My sister is having some issues with her 9 year old daughter. My niece, who used to be very easygoing with a lot of things, is now showing a lot of anxiety, for example about going to parties, about dealing with girlfriends, about staying home (with a nanny) when parents go out to dinner, about what to eat, etc.

My niece reminds me of myself at that same age, and it took my mom a long time to address my anxiety when I was a kid, but now my sister wants to tackle this a lot sooner in her kid. She's just started seeing a therapist. I have benefited a lot from books about CBT, specially Feeling Good which was a MeFi recommendation. I'm wondering if any of you have a good book about dealing with anxiety and irrational thoughts in children or pre-teens. Extra points if we can get it on Amazon.
posted by CrazyLemonade to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry that I'm recommending an audio recording for the child instead of a book for the mother, but Edna Reinhardt's Guided Relaxation for Teenagers is a really nice collection that guides you through CBT practices like breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, etc. I'm a full grown adult and I use it to manage anxiety and to help fall asleep; there's nothing super "teen" about it but the music is a lot less new age hippy dippy pan flute than on most guided relaxation recordings, which I appreciate.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:40 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Therapists at the hospital I work at recommend "What to do when you worry too much" for kids her age.
posted by cosmicbandito at 11:53 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Everything by Free Spirit Publishing is great. I too was an anxious preteen and some of these books really helped me.

Fighting Invisible Tigers is their teen-focused book about anxiety and stress. For younger kids, check out What To Do When You're Scared and Worried.
posted by annekate at 12:07 PM on September 30, 2013

Response by poster: Sorry if I wasn't clear. While suggestions for books for the kid are appreciated (and I will look into them, thanks), I'm asking about a book for the mom.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 12:22 PM on September 30, 2013

I'd first recommend finding a really great CBT therapist who can work wtih your neice and her family to coach them through some of the strategies covered in these books. As you know, CBT is amazingly effective for anxiety, and having someone who is really practiced in the ins and outs of how to apply it may short cut a lot of work you would otherwise try to do on your own.

A few books that I recommend to families:

Your Anxious Child: How Parents and Teachers Can Relieve Anxiety in Children by John S. Dacey and Lisa B. Fiore;

Seven Steps to Help Your Child Worry Less by Brady Goldstein, Ph.D.;

Worried No More: Help and Hope for Anxious Children by Aureen Pinto Wagner;

Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step by Step Guide for Parents by Ronald Rapee, Spence, Cobham, and Wignall;

Freeing Your Child from Anxiety by Tamar Chansky.

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, by Dawn Huebner, Ph. D (for kids rather than parents)
posted by goggie at 12:23 PM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]

All the books goggle recommended are good. I really liked Freeing Your Child from Anxiety personally.

Going through the kid's book, What to do when you worry too much, with my kid was actually the most helpful because it made me understand the scope and range of my kid's fears. I was making assumptions about shyness and effort from my own experience and really underestimating some things that hadn't occurred to me as anxiety issues.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:25 PM on September 30, 2013

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