When we’re worried, we are not feeling empowered (or safe or happy). That’s part of the reason parents often tell our kids “Don’t worry.” Easier said than done. “Worrying is on one end of a continuum with fear on the other and anxiety in between,” says Psychologist Dr. Dan Peters. “Fear,” he says, “is a response we all need biologically to survive. It’s a response to a real threat in the environment. Anxiety is an irrational fear. The thing we’re anxious about (and stress and obsess over). That thing is possible, but it’s highly unlikely. Worry, with a small ‘w’ is a feeling of nervousness where we’re thinking something bad is going to happen. But when it starts moving toward anxiety, the small ‘w’ becomes a big ‘W’ and becomes a lot more problematic.” And gets in the way of our kids enjoying life and reaching their potential. Annie talks with Dr. Dan about children who worry and how parents can help them master those worries.
About Dan Peters (@DrDanPeters)
Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, and Co-founder of Parent Footprint, an interactive parenting education community offering Parent Footprint Awareness Training with the mission to make the world a more compassionate and loving place—one parent and one child at a time. He is host of the “Parent Footprint Podcast with Dr. Dan” and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.
Dr. Dan is the author of Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears and its companion children’s book From Worrier to Warrior, and co-author (with Dr. Susan Daniels) of Raising Creative Kids as well as many articles on topics related to parenting, family, giftedness, twice-exceptionality, dyslexia, and anxiety. Learn more at DrDanPeters.com
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