Wisdom’s Wishes: How to turn anxiety into a gift that will connect your family.
If you’re a parent struggling with a child with anxiety, you’ll meet yourself on every page of this book. You’ll see yourself in many of the examples used. It will provide you with a framework to move towards the family life you dreamed of. Allowing you to dictate the pace and route as your family see fit.
Chapter 1 Anxiety the brain body connection explained
In this chapter, I use the Triune brain theory to explain the complexity of the brain and how it relates to our behavior. I’ll focus on three main areas of the brain and how they interact with one another while calm and relaxed and while anxious. I’ll explain using practical relatable examples of how the brain is connected to the body and how our thoughts can affect our reality.
This chapter sets the tone of how parents will approach anxiety going forward and will use practical examples of what I do on a regular basis to help my children navigate the path between anxious thoughts and pent up emotions driving their behavior. Once families have read this chapter, they will begin to change how they view their child’s behavior and thus how they approach their solutions to meeting the needs being expressed. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” Wayne Dwyer. Hopefully this chapter will set the tone of parents understanding that all behavior is communication of need, generally. Elements of this chapter will be written in a way that is to be shared with the children in the house so that you are all starting from a level playing fields of information and shared language. For example, is that “cheeky monkey brain making you feel scared this morning”.
Chapter 2 Anxiety in Motion
A deep dive into what is actually happening in our thought process when we are stuck on anxious thoughts. It’s a clear map for your family illustrating step by step why anxiety can leave our children disassociated and stressed. The outcome being a simple understandable explanation of how we as humans work on an internal level.
Chapter 3 Anchoring techniques
i) The Now clock
ii) The senses game
The now clock if one of the most powerful techniques a parent can use to calm any anxious mind. It dissolves countless worries and supports the child and parent to regain a sense of power in the moment. Anxiety lives in the future or the past and thus having the ability to bring your child’s focus back to the present is very freeing. I would use a picture of a clock, my child would pop a finger on the one and breath in for a count of four, hold for a count of four and breath out for a count of four. Then we would ask each other the question, right now are you ok? Simple and very powerful.
Distraction is your best friend when that cheeky monkeys’ anxious thoughts make us feel scared. The senses game can be played anywhere to great effect. It distracts the monkey and gives you and your child a fun game. Ask your child to name 5 things they can see, four they can smell and so on. Great fun, simple and effective to calm the monkey thoughts.
Chapter 4 Relax Kids Magic in Motion
I’ll share some of the magic that can happen when you use the Relax Kids 7 steps to orientate your day. Its amazing to see the transformation in children when we marry simple techniques to lift their energy.
Chapter 5 Anxiety and Sleep
Sleep is the foundation of wellness, thus retraining your anxious child to restorative restful sleep can be a game changer. Its totally possible with a little investment of time and consistency to retrain their body to sleep quickly and peacefully.
Chapter 6 The anxious child’s struggle with friendship
Cactus friends versus flower friends
Friendship and navigating this roller coaster can be a challenge for every child but especially for anxious children. I’ll outline a framework of communication that facilitates nonjudgmental, fun responses to this challenge. It allows the child to make informed choices in response to behavior that can be hurtful and confusing. It teaches the child that other children’s behavior is a reflection of that child and not them. It is a shield of self-protection that they can carry with them that encourages them to connect with their inner feeling to guide their friendship choices.
Chapter 7 The Caring Habits and Deadly Habits
In the midst of parenting through anxiety, I discovered that I did not have the words to succinctly deal with everyday behavior in a way that fostered self-reflection and self-responsibility. As a domestic engineer (full time parent) you are constantly talking, which can be very draining and exhausting. Luckily, I found choice theory, The Caring Habits and Deadly Habits. It is a simple understandable framework for dealing with the everyday challenges of getting kids to do anything. We all want to be spoken to in soft loving tones when asked to do jobs, that’s hard when you have asked them ten times to complete a task. This framework allows you to bypass that merry go round and switch to open questions. It’s a magic formula and its application is vast and extremely effective.
Chapter 8 Additional Supports
We humans are not made in a one size fits all package. Thus, as much as I hope you find what you need in this book, I also instinctively understand that you and your family may need more. This list of additional resources and or options are by no means exhaustive, but I have used all of them and found them greatly beneficial.
Sinead is a mum to 3 children. She is a wife, sister, neighbour and spends half her time on the side of a hurling or football pitch cheering on the two eldest. Her baby loves singing and dance classes. She lives on one of the only hills in the midlands in Ireland and loves the view of the bog that appears to change throughout the day. She loves the outdoors, cooking, nature especially butterflies, clothes, eating out and movie nights. She is passionate about buying local and sustainable food and products. She meditates regularly and is spiritual by nature. Sinead’s gut instinct guides her life and choices. She is a heart centered person who believes that were all equal regardless of status or title. Sinead passionately believes that all humans have the ability, to meet their own needs if they are supported and empowered to do so. She is driven to guild people to a better understanding of the needs behind behavior and how best to use their own strengths and abilities to live full happy and peaceful lives. To use the words of Sadhguru “Every situation is an opportunity. Either you harvest well-being or suffering – it is your choice”.
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