Blog — Anxiety

How to Not Pass on Stress to Your Kids

Ojie Paloma / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with my dear friend, Dr. Dan Gottlieb on his NPR radio show, Voices in the Family. His guests, Drs. Sara Waters and Wendy Mendes from University of San Francisco were reporting on their study of the transmission of stress from mother to infant. It was a great conversation, and you can listen to the program here. The take away message was very positive-- that parents can do so much to manage their stress and importantly "repair" their connection with their child if stress gets in the way-- through apologies, loving gestures-- and just spending time together. In otherwords, we don't have to pass on our stress, we can clean it up as we go. Here's a piece I wrote to share these ideas. 

 

 

 

 

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How to Handle a Personal Crisis at Work

SalFalko / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Divorce, health problems, taking care of sick children, taking care of sick parents-- none of us are immune from these challenges which can impact every aspect of our day to day life. It's hard enough to handle the stress of a personal crisis itself, but how do we do so in the context of our jobs when people are depending on us? I had the pleasure of talking with Business Insider journalist, Jacquelyn Smith, about how to manage a crisis in the work context in a way that minimizes, as much as possible, our own stress as well as that of our colleagues.

 

 

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What to Do When Your College Student is Homesick

Ian Fuller / Foter 

This week as students are heading off to college, parents are wondering-- what do they do when their child is unhappy or homesick? Is it a sign of trouble, or just a normal sign of change? This is normal! Teaching your children (young adults) how transitions work is your new job. Here are many ideas to get you started.

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Ways To Get Rid of Perfectionism and Live a Better Life

the walking disaster / Foter / CC BY-NC

I was in my favorite coffee shop recently (I would walk very far for the best iced Americano in town) and the barista was dumping out a latte that just wasn't up to snuff for her. I joked that perfectionism is only important when it comes to making coffee. She laughed and said, no, perfectionism is important everywhere. We got into a whole discussion about whether perfectionism was really sustainable, and how it is different from striving for excellence. In the end we agreed to disagree (I think it's just a matter of time; she's young) and I enjoyed my delicious drink. But it got me thinking about how destructive perfectionism can be to a person's well-being, not to mention productivity, so I am reposting this piece I wrote on the topic a bit ago. Here's to striving for excellence (not perfection)!

 

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Don't Save the Wisdom of Failure Until Graduation

Corbis Images by permission

Graduation speeches encouraging students to be resilient in the face of failure (because therein lies the path to success) are becoming a staple in American culture. But why save that great advice until the 11th hour? Imagine how different things might be if our children learned how to approach and manage risk and uncertainty from the very beginning of their education. Here are some simple ideas that we can start using today to make resilient risk-taking part of everyday life for our children, and ourselves, too!

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Yes, Your Teen is Going to College, But Are They Ready?

Acceptance

What a very exciting time for families of high school seniors. College decisions are being finalized and the future is looking bright. After the arduous journey of the last several years which has brought you to this moment, it is understandable that families will be breathing a deserved sigh of relief and ready to coast until August. My advice to parents? Coast not. Catch your breath, but then take this opportunity to help your student prepare emotionally for the transition. Hint: this may involve doing less laundry and dishes for them.... 

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Spring Cleaning Your Mind: Clearing Away the Clutter of Negative Thoughts

DaffodilsHello all, welcome to spring! In the time that I started and finished these next two blog posts-- the first about spring cleaning for your mind, the second about spring cleaning your relationship-- the weather went from snow, to the balmy 70's, and now back to pulling out the coats and hats. If nothing else, all of these changes are helping us work on our flexibility! And this is really what our well being within ourselves and in our relationships is all about. Happy spring cleaning!

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Spring Cleaning Your Relationship: Making More Room for Love

Magnolia in Bloom/ ©2018 Mireilla Stern used with permissionHappy spring! While we are in the midst of cleaning up our closets, our cars, our desks (well, some of us anyway, but that's another story-- please see previous blogpost about who isn't doing that)-- let's not forget about the care and attention of our relationships with our significant others! Here are some ideas for sprucing up and clearing away the clutter with those most important people in our lives.

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Empathy 101: How to Listen Instead of Handing Out a To do List

Gratner/iStock by permissionDon't you love it when your kids teach you things that you thought you already knew... maybe even things that you thought you were already good at? I do actually really love when that happens (especially when I can blog about it!) and such was the case with an impromptu lesson for me, courtesy of my older daughter, on empathy. I hope her tagline: Empathy, period, resonates with you as much as it did with me. Here's to more empathy all around.

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Heading to College? It's OK to be Homesick

Homesick

Close to twenty million students will head off to college this year, about a quarter of those for the very first time. Along with their hopes, dreams, boxes of microwave popcorn, laptop and cozy comforter, they will bring along their fears, and that's normal. Homesickness isn't exactly about missing home, it's about missing what's familiar. Given a little bit of time, college will become familiar and will feel like home. Here are many ideas to help that transition along: first an article I wrote about strategies for managing homesickness, and then a few links on the subject. The bottom line with any transition: trust you'll adjust. You always do. Here's to a great school year for all!

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Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking-- Second Edition Underway!

Freeing Your Child from Negative ThinkingIn 2008 I wrote Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking to give parents tools to help their kids learn how to outsmart the negative tricks the mind can play. Fast-forward 10 years and the number of children and teens struggling with negative-thought fueled depression and anxiety is multiplying at an alarming rate. Time for an update. I am embarking on a 2nd edition of Negative Thinking which will be released just in time for the new school year September, 2019. I'd love to hear your thoughts and requests for the Second Edition-- contact@tamarchansky.com, in the meantime, here's a synopsis of the steps and as always-- here's to less worry, and less negativity, all around!

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Learning to Meet in the “Aha Middle” of Your Disagreements: A Valentine’s Day Aspiration

Moosehook © Phillip Stern 2019It's Valentine's Day and as much as I love flowers and candy (make that cupcakes, please) I also like writing about the wonders and challenges of love-- and that's what this post is all about. Written with my husband and book illustrator, Phillip Stern, we explore how poignant misunderstandings lead to greater connection. Do you know the feeling? Love is work and it is worth it! Happy Valentine's Day, all!

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Kids and Sports: How to Parent Your Anxious, Perfectionistic Athlete

Disappointment ©Istock by permission LSOphotoSpring is nearly here and that means spring sports are underway! I am thrilled that my book, Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, just became a number one best-seller in Children’s Sports on Amazon. It makes me so happy to think about how parents and coaches are teaching kids to lower the stakes, not the standards so that their young athletes can free themselves from perfectionism and worry, and in so doing, grow and thrive. I love supporting kids' efforts in sports and have so many ideas to share, so I have two blogposts. In this first piece, I share ideas for parenting an anxious athlete, in part two you'll find ideas for what kids can do to free themselves from anxiety in sports. Here’s to a great season for all!

 

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Kids, Anxiety and Sports: How to Train Like a Pro

Resilient Young Athletes istock by permissionWelcome to Part Two in our series on Kids and Sports. In Part One, we looked at parenting ideas to support your young athlete. Here, we focus on what kids themselves can do. As much as your child's athletic success comes from building up their skills, working on their emotional management system--how to handle disappointment and keep their head in the game—will help them soar ever higher! Let’s make this season one where kids build up their resilience and flexibility along with their skills pitching, running, and sliding into home base. Here are some ideas to share with your kids, their coaches, and parents and teammates. Here's to a great season!

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Rethinking the Path to Empathy: When it's Hard to Connect, Step into Your Own Shoes First

EmpathyWhat is the path to empathy? We have all been urged (or at times, chided) to "step into someone else's shoes," But just as we might strain to comprehend the extent of the physical pain someone is experiencing when they look so normal, so like us on the outside, we can strain to fathom the extent of emotional distress others endure in the absence--to us-- of a good enough cause. In other words, try as we might, someone else's shoes just might not fit. That's OK. We don't have to understand what someone else is feeling, we just have to want to. Instead of doing the far stretch into someone else's shoes, as fellow human beings we all understand suffering-- whether from anxiety, or loss, or pain, so we can step into our own shoes, flip through our own feelings of vulnerability and find a "good enough" empathic match. Here are some ideas to run with (in your empathy shoes!). Here's to less worry and more empathy all around.

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Countdown to College: How to Prepare Your Student (and Yourself) Emotionally and Practically

PreCollegeBingo

Do you have a student starting college in a few weeks? If you and your student are feeling anxious about this transition it's totally to be expected. How could it be otherwise? Our second child is leaving the nest and while I'm confident that she is ready, much to her chagrin-- I wrote this blogpost about continuing to hound, I mean teach about being responsible-- emotionally and practically. Because, let's face it, roommates and friends may not be charmed by things like: being late, not having your keys, leaving dirty dishes around, etc etc. At our house we even made a Bingo game for practicing new skills (because that's just the kind of people we are....). So, with our daughter's gracious permission, and it must be said, she is a wonderful human being...I'm sharing it here. In addition, here are lots of ideas for emotional and practical preparation for a great start to college. Maybe you'll make a bingo card too-- or at least talk about it. OK, yes, this might just cue the eye rolling, but parents-- we know what we're talking about even though our kids may never admit it. Right? Best wishes to all for a great start to college!

 

 

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Transitions: How to Lean In and Adjust to Change

Transitions ©BrianAJacksonAs summer draws to a close we all get that feeling, maybe a sinking feeling—the end of something. It can hit hard even if next week will look pretty much the same as last week. This summer my husband and I are transitioning into empty-nesting as our younger daughter settles into college. It feels like transition with a capital “T.” But no matter the size or circumstance, it helps to remember and trust that we all adjust to change, it’s in our DNA. Let’s trust that we’ll adjust, together.

 

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