Managing Children’s Anxieties: A New Opportunity for Parents as Coaches
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Managing Children’s Anxieties: A New Opportunity for Parents as Coaches The F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids Mental Health Care. Think of what you’ve felt like when you’ve had a positive experience …. STOP. What kind of experience do you want your child to have?. ll.

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Managing Children’s Anxieties: A New Opportunity for Parents as Coaches The F.O.R.C.E.

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Managing children s anxieties a new opportunity for parents as coaches the f o r c e

Managing Children’s Anxieties: A New Opportunity for Parents as Coaches

The F.O.R.C.E.

Society for Kids Mental Health Care


Think of what you ve felt like when you ve had a positive experience

Think of what you’ve felt like when you’ve had a positive experience…

STOP


Managing children s anxieties a new opportunity for parents as coaches the f o r c e

What kind of experience do you want your child to have?

ll


Truth versus belief

Truth versus Belief

  • Approx. 9,000 children and youth in BC have an anxiety disorder. Truth

  • Poor parenting is the cause of the disorders. Belief

  • Parents of children ill with a mental disorder are treated with less respect. Truth

  • Parents can help prevent kid’s worries from developing into anxiety disorders. Truth

  • Almost 1 in 10 babies in a hospital nursery will exhibit signs of stress or anxiety. Truth


Managing children s anxieties a new opportunity for parents as coaches the f o r c e

Who We Are…We are parents whose children’s lives are touched by mental disordersWhen We Learned We Weren’t Alone…January 2000…and every day sinceWhy We Formed a Society…To ensure mental health care and services are provided to children and youth and to assist their families in finding information and support

The F.O.R.C.E. History


Anxiety is normal everyone has it

Anxiety is Normal….Everyone has it

  • Approach & avoidance behaviours

  • Safety signals

  • Normal emotional response essential for survival

  • Threat cues

  • Individual differences in the experience of anxiety


Managing children s anxieties a new opportunity for parents as coaches the f o r c e

Group Exercise

What is your secret /not so secret fear?

  • Rate it on a fear thermometer of 1-5

  • What are your body clues when you are feeling anxious?

  • Form circle and exchange papers


Now imagine

Now, imagine…

  • You had learned skills to cope with your fears or worries at age 9!!!

  • Your children can have that chance

  • You can learn how to coach your kids in these skills


Managing children s anxieties a new opportunity for parents as coaches the f o r c e

Feelings

Remember to Relax

Ican do it! I can try my best!

Explore Solutions and Coping Step Plans

Now reward yourself! You’ve done your best!

Don’t forget to practice!

Smile! Stay calm for life!


Why friends

Why “FRIENDS”……

  • FRIENDS is an acronym for the skills and strategies taught in the program

  • Our body is our friend

  • Be a good friend to ourselves

  • Make new friends

  • Talk to our friends


Program approach

Program Approach

  • All feelings are normal

  • What we DO with our feelings is what counts the most


Friends in the classroom

FRIENDS in the classroom

  • Offered to all school districts in BC

  • Based on prescribed learning outcomes for grades 4 & 5 in personal planning

  • First time ever offered in the classroom, versus individual or groups outside of class setting

  • Parent component being offered for first time this year


I i can do it i can try my best

I = I can do it! I can try my best!

  • Thoughts - feelings - behaviours

  • Self talk

  • Helpful, powerful, positive, optimisticgreen thoughts

  • Unhelpful, negative, pessimistic

    red thoughts

  • Attention training exercises

    think like a winner !!


Managing children s anxieties a new opportunity for parents as coaches the f o r c e

The link between thoughts and feelings

UnhelpfulRed Thoughts

=

Sad, worried, angry feelings

Helpful Green Thoughts

=

Happy, confident feelings

I’ll give it my best shot!

I can do it!

Second place is a great effort!

I will get better!

I = I can do it! I can try my best!


Flexibility in thinking

FLEXIBILITY in THINKING

Feelings

Difficult

Situation

Unhelpful

thoughts

Reactive

Behaviours

Problem Solving

Generate many solutions as a family/school group

Helpful

thoughts

Feelings

Proactive

Behaviours


Changing unhelpful red thoughts page 30

Changing UnhelpfulRed Thoughts page 30

Feelings:

  • fear

  • sadness

  • Helplessness

  • lonely

Behaviours

  • crying

  • seeking reassurance

  • withdrawing

  • annoying others

  • giving up

Thoughts:

  • no-one likes me

  • I’m going to be alone

  • Everyone thinks I am a geek

  • I’ll haveno fun

Difficult

Situation:

Finding

someone

to play with

find someone before play time begins

Older buddy / mentor

bring toy / game to share

teacher intervene

find ways to initiate play with others

Keep chart monitor success

Problem Solving

Generate many solutions as a family/school group

Behaviours

  • smiling

  • approaching others

  • courage

  • assertive

  • taking risks

  • having fun

relief

increased confidence

empowerment

happy

Feeling OK

I can be a good friend

Teacher cares and knows

I played the other day

I can be happy doing something I enjoy


Thought exercise

Thought Exercise

  • Provide group with scenario

  • List ‘red’ thoughts that may occur

  • List ‘green’ thoughts that can replace ‘red thoughts’


Ways others can help

Ways Others Can Help

  • Encouragers

    • Just try your best!

    • You can do it!

    • You did that really well!

    • I’m proud of you for trying hard!

    • You’re doing great,keep practicing!

  • Encourage children to pay attention to positives

    • To focus on the positive aspects of every situation.

      Positive things from within, from others, or from the situation itself.

    • To expect good things to happen


Why is it important to involve parents leader manual p 107

Why Is It Important to Involve Parents?(leader manual p. 107)

  • Encourage more time with their children:

    • Listening to their children’s solutions

    • Discussion of positive consequences

    • Reinforcement of proactive plans

  • Model approach and assertive plans

  • Establish routines, quiet time, adequate sleep time and appropriate diet

  • Monitoring and mentoring supportive friendships


Knowing what to do helping families help their kids

Knowing what to do… helping families help their kids


Benefits of parent training

Benefits of Parent Training

  • Become aware of their coping style & cognitive style

  • Development of stress management strategies

  • Practice modelling positive brave behaviours

  • Development of realistic expectations

  • Enhancement of family teamwork

  • Learn to help their children think in helpful ways

  • Awareness of child’s difficulties / fears; “at risk” times

  • Catch their child being brave, and reinforce them

  • Help their children/youth form support networks


Parent training in bc

Parent Training in BC

  • Led by The F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids Mental Health (with funding from MCFD)

  • Offered to 15 school districts across BC – new component for 2005

  • 2 sessions for 2 hours

  • Ideally facilitated by school counselor

  • Collaboration with PAC and Mental Health Team

    Contact : Donna Murphy:[email protected]

    Keli Anderson: [email protected]


Pac role

PAC Role

  • To advocate for The FRIENDS program in your school/school district

  • To talk about and ask for presentations on The FRIENDS program at your PAC meeting

  • To co-facilitate the parents’ training with your school counselor and MCFD therapist


What makes a difference

What makes a difference

  • Talking to other parents

  • Making connections and building relationships in the school and community

  • Having some easy, practical tools to apply

  • Learning to react differently

  • Finding one person in the school who can act as a ‘safe’ person for the child


Continuum of care

Continuum of Care

  • The skills learned in grades 4 or 5 with the FRIENDS become life skills to be used forever.

  • Parents can also use the skill when they hit a rough patch or situation

  • Just because your child is doing well today, doesn’t mean they don’t need skills for managing stress and anxiety tomorrow.


Our kids they re counting on us

Our Kids, they’re counting on us

  • To act as a community to support and help them

  • To see them through a different “lense”, and think of them beyond their behaviour

  • To help their parents get through the really tough times


We need to be with and for children not at them

We need to be

WITH and

FOR children,

not

AT them.


Resources contact info

Resources & Contact Info

  • Some helpful websites:

  • www.anxietybc.com

  • www.adaa.org

  • www.friendsinfo.com.au

  • www.childanxiety.net


Resources contact info1

Resources & Contact Info

  • “Taming the Worry Dragon” Series

    • Includes books, manuals and videotapes

    • 604.875.3549

  • “Anxiety Disorders in Children and Youth”

    • Special issue of VISIONS (BC’s mental health journal)

    • www.cmha-bc.org/content/resources/visions/issues/14.pdf

  • Self-test for Teens experiencing anxiety problems

    • www.adaa.org/Public/selftest_ADA.htm

  • Self-test for parents of a child experiencing anxiety problems

    • www.adaa.org/Public/selftest_children.htm


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