Parenting Articles about Anxiety & Depression

When your child has anxiety or depression, it's hard to know where to turn for help. Empowering Parents offers guidance for both you and your child, including advice on teen anxiety and depression.
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Afraid Your Child Won't Make It in the Real World? How to Help Your Child Transition to Adulthood

Afraid Your Child Won't Make It in the Real World? How to Help Your Child Transition to Adulthood

Karen hasn’t slept through the night in years—she’s too worried about her son Mason making it through high school. He tried two different schools and now takes online classes, but that's not working, either. Karen has resorted to sitting with him for three hours every night (after coming home from her full-time job) to help him through his homework. She’s given up trying to make him take the ACT or SAT tests for college. Karen’s just focused on one goal—Mason graduating from high school. She’s not sure what will come after that.

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How to Keep Calm and Guide Your Child to Better Behavior This Year

How to Keep Calm and Guide Your Child to Better Behavior This Year

Have you been looking back on the last year, reflecting on how things went with your child? If so, perhaps you feel frustrated when you think about his or her behavior—and your reaction to it. Maybe you feel like no matter what you do, nothing changes. But understand that positive change can happen in your family. You’re not stuck in those negative patterns—you really do have the power to improve things, starting today.

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I Hate School! What Can I Do When My Child Refuses to Go to School?

I Hate School! What Can I Do When My Child Refuses to Go to School?

If you’re like most parents, you probably take the responsibility of getting your kids to school very seriously and get angry and frustrated when they refuse to go. This can easily turn into a power struggle if you feel this is a “battle” you have to “win.” It’s all too easy to react to your own anxiety and emotions about the situation rather than acting in a well-planned, effective way that will get you (and your child) where they want to be.

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How to Prepare Your Child with Special Needs for the Back to School Transition

How to Prepare Your Child with Special Needs for the Back to School Transition

My sonwas the “bad kid” in class, which stacked up negatives against him.The teachers watched for his behaviors and quickly got on his case, even if everyone else was engaged in the same activity.As a result, he had to spend a lot of his limited energy for school on reducing the teachers’ stress about having him in their class.

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Out of Control Child: Stopping the Family Anxiety Cycle

Out of Control Child: Stopping the Family Anxiety Cycle

Does your child's behavior make you feel out of control? Do you find yourself walking on eggshells so that you don’t “set him off?” It might be your five year old who has tantrums and acts out, or perhaps it’s your teenager who fights with you all the time. Your consequences mean nothing to him, and in fact seem to make him more defiant. Whatever the reason, you've got the kid who simply doesn't react to parenting the way you thought he would. Debbie Pincus, creator of the Calm Parent: AM & PM, explains how you can change the way your family interacts.

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Anxious Kids: Are You Dealing with an Insecure Teen?

Anxious Kids: Are You Dealing with an Insecure Teen?

“I’m ugly.” “Everyone hates me.” “I’m going to fail—I’m too stupid to pass this test.”

Why are teens and pre–teens often insecure, anxious and over–sensitive? Adolescence is a risky, dangerous time of life. Your child is attempting to figure out who he is, how he wants to be in the world and how others perceive him. In some ways, the teen years are like the terrible twos, only the stakes are much higher, because your child’s job is to form his identity and separate from you. It’s also a time when parents often go from having a special, positive bond with their child to a phase where your kid wants to push you away. At the same time, he’s also pulling you in for reassurance. It’s as if your child is saying, “I love you, I hate you; I need your help, you’re embarrassing me; stay close, but I don’t want you to walk next to me on the street.” For all these reasons and more, adolescence is an anxiety–provoking, tumultuous time, both for your child and for you.

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Does Your Teen Have a Negative
Self-image? Real Tips for Parents

Does Your Teen Have a Negative Self-image? Real Tips for Parents

When kids hit the pre–teen years, insecurities begin to creep in. Many adolescents start to worry that they’re not popular, good–looking or smart enough. In fact, it’s common for even the most self–assured teen to be down at times. In this frank conversation with Josh Shipp, he explains how you can help your child avoid the pitfalls of negativity.

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Self-esteem and Anxiety in Teens: Plus 5 Ways to Start Real Conversations with Your Teen

Self-esteem and Anxiety in Teens: Plus 5 Ways to Start Real Conversations with Your Teen

Does your teen have low self-esteem? Maybe he has a lousy self image, or anxiety about fitting in at school or with peers. This week in EP, read about these difficult adolescent issues from Josh Shipp, someone who’s been there and knows what he’s talking about.

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Is Your Child Depressed? 6 Ways to Help Them Cope Kids and Depression Part II

Is Your Child Depressed? 6 Ways to Help Them Cope Kids and Depression Part II

In Part II of James Lehman, MSW’s series on episodic childhood depression, he’ll discuss concrete ways you can teach your child coping skills. If your child seems distressed, despondent or sad for a prolonged period of time, have them seen by someone with diagnostic skills. Be sure to have a pediatrician rule out any underlying issues that might be causing depression.

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When Your Child’s World Collapses: Kids & Depression Part I

When Your Childs World Collapses: Kids & Depression Part I

Part one of a two part series by James Lehman, MSW, on kids and episodic depression.

Note from James: In our culture, sadness and depression have become almost interchangeable terms. In this article, we’re going to use the term “episodic depression” when referring to a level of sadness that children experience that interferes with their functioning.

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Freaked Out Part II: How to Help Kids Manage Their Anxiety

Freaked Out Part II: How to Help Kids Manage Their Anxiety

This is part two of a two-part series on anxiety in children by James Lehman, MSW. In the first article, James discussed how to understand and identify anxiety in children. In this second and last article, he will give you some concrete advice on how to help children solve the problem of anxiety by managing it successfully.

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Freaked Out Part I: Understanding Kids with Anxiety

Freaked Out Part I:  Understanding Kids with Anxiety

This is part one of a two-part series on anxiety in children by James Lehman, MSW. In the first article, James will discuss how to understand and identify anxiety in children. Next week, he’ll give you some constructive advice on how to help children manage anxiety successfully.

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Young Kids and Back to School Anxiety: How to Shrink it Down to Size

Young Kids and Back to School Anxiety: How to Shrink it Down to Size

As the start of the school year approaches, have you seen your first grader go into meltdown mode at the mention of school, or watched your soon-to-be kindergartner regress back to baby talking and thumb sucking? Rest assured that you’re not alone. Each fall, millions of parents deal with their children’s beginning-of-the-year anxiety.

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Parenting Tip of the Week: Help Teens Combat Back to School Anxiety

Parenting Tip of the Week: Help Teens Combat Back to School Anxiety

It’s common for kids to have a lot of anxiety about the start of the school year, especially if they’re entering a new grade or going to a new school. All of these issues weigh very heavily on the minds of teens and pre-teens. And children with any type of impairment—whether it be a neurological, physical or behavioral—will have anxiety levels that are even more intense than kids who don’t.

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