Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents


Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children


by Reid Wilson, PhD & Lynn Lyons, MSW

ISBN: 978-0-7573-1762-0


In this groundbreaking book, anxiety disorder experts Reid Wilson & Lynn Lyons provide families with a jargon-free, step-by-step plan to solve the puzzle of anxious, avoidant kids. Learn the difference between healthy worrying and debilitating anxiety and gain concrete skills to parent your child or teen. Action, not avoidance, is the key to success. By following this powerful program, you will model and encourage optimism and allow your child to grow with independence and courage.

With anxiety at epidemic levels among our children, Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents offers a contrarian yet effective approach to help children and teens push through their fears, worries, and phobias to ultimately become more resilient, independent, and happy.

How do you manage a child who gets stomachaches every school morning, who refuses after-school activities, or who is trapped in the bathroom with compulsive washing? Children like these put a palpable strain on frustrated, helpless parents and teachers. And there is no escaping the problem: One in every five kids suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

Unfortunately, when parents or professionals offer help in traditional ways, they unknowingly reinforce a child’s worry and avoidance. From their success with hundreds of organizations, schools, and families, Reid Wilson, PhD, and Lynn Lyons, LICSW, share their unconventional approach of stepping into uncertainty in a way that is currently unfamiliar but infinitely successful. Using current research and contemporary examples, the book exposes the most common anxiety-enhancing patterns—including reassurance, accommodation, avoidance, and poor problem solving—and offers a concrete plan with 7 key principles that foster change. And, since new research reveals how anxious parents typically make for anxious children, the book offers exercises and techniques to change both the children’s and the parental patterns of thinking and behaving.

About the Authors

Dr. Reid Wilson

Read about Dr. Reid Wilson here.

Lynn Lyons, LICSW

Lynn Lyons, LICSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice and a sought-after speaker and consultant. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults and children, including generalized anxiety, phobias, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and performance anxiety.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: How Worry Moves In, How It Grows, and Why It Needs to Go
  • Chapter 2: Nurture or Nature? Either Way, You Have a Job to Do
  • Chapter 3: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time . . .
  • Chapter 4: It’s Actually Not Breaking News
  • Chapter 5: Same Old Worry, Very Different Responses
  • Chapter 6: The More Unsure, the Better
  • Chapter 7: Retraining the Brain: Doing Matters Most
  • Chapter 8: Calming Down the Body
  • Chapter 9: Stepping Toward the Bigger Picture
  • Chapter 10: When Amnesia Attacks
  • Chapter 11: Casey’s Guide Will Help
  • Chapter 12: Moving Toward Courage and Independence
  • Using Casey’s Guide to Help Your Child
  • Appendix A: Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed in Childhood or Adolescence
  • Appendix B: National Organizations That Identify Therapists Specializing in the Treatment of Anxiety in Children, Adolescents, or Adults
  • Appendix C: Children’s Books That Model Healthy Cognitive Styles for Children