When kids are anxious, it’s human nature to want to soothe them. For kids with significant anxiety, however, we may need to monitor ourselves for over-accommodating behaviors.
It’s natural that parents with anxious kids want to soothe them. Watching someone we love struggle can be overwhelming- especially when, at first, it seems so easy to offer the soothing that could bring relief.
Researchers at Yale recently compared two groups of kids with anxiety.
Group 1 received the most common treatment for kids with anxiety: cognitive behavioral therapy, while Group 2 didn’t get any therapy- instead, their parents got coaching in how to parent anxious kids with less accommodation.
The outcome? Both groups of kids had equivalent improvements in symptoms.
Empathically acknowledging fear AND setting boundaries that help kids grow is really, really hard stuff. If you need support, coaching, or help to know the difference between helping and enabling, ask for help. You don’t have to figure it out alone.
This series of information illustrations was based on a research study (“Parent-Based Treatment as Efficacious as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Anxiety…”) published in 2019.
A report on this study can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2019.02.014
Lead Researcher: W. Silverman, Yale University Child Study Center.