Parenting a child with anxiety is hard.
Unchecked, anxiety leads to avoidance, passivity and negativity which maintains it. It's often a precursor to low mood and depression. When you add the potentially negative social stigma of going to counselling and your child’s developmental drive for independence, they might not be ready or willing to work with a therapist. And you might be feeling frustrated, confused and helpless.
As a parent, you look for and respond to fear signals from your child, and protect and soothe them when they’re scared. But when anxiety is in charge, your child's threat detection system is hyper-sensitive and repeatedly sending signals to you that they’re not ok. Without realising it, the way you’re supporting your child might actually be giving them them the message that they can’t face their challenges by themselves or might reduce their opportunities to face and learn from them.
Parent coaching helps you build skills that promote your child’s resilience, bravery and strengths, at the same time helping you avoid common parent traps like rescuing, reassuring, fixing, demanding and overprotecting.
I use a variety of evidence-based parent-led approaches including Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE). SPACE teaches you how to respond to your child in a way that increases their belief in their ability to face challenges and increases their opportunities to do that. It's a pioneering programme from Yale University which takes approximately 10-12 sessions, focusing on changes that you can make to your own behaviour to help your anxious child. We go on a journey across the weeks as I guide you through the process that you’ll complete in real time with your child. You can learn more about SPACE on their website by clicking here.