22 min

112. Are we enabling anxiety? Rethinking how we support anxious kids‪.‬ Overpowering Emotions Podcast: Helping Children and Teens Manage Big Feels

    • Mental Health

Today on Overpowering Emotions, I continue the parent trap series with a focus on one of the most significant traps: Accommodation. As adults, it is our instinct to shield anxious children from distress. However, when we do this, are we helping or hindering their growth?

This episode delves deep into the effects of over-accommodation — from speaking for a shy child to avoiding certain social situations. We explore how these well-intentioned actions can inadvertently perpetuate and even worsen a child’s anxiety, leading to increased dependency and a lack of self-efficacy.

Join me as I discuss the importance of shifting from accommodation to empowerment. I’ll share examples demonstrating how reducing accommodations can build confidence and resilience in anxious children.

Discover the vital role of parents in this process — not as rescuers, but as supporters, guiding their children to face fears and develop coping skills.

Tune in to empower your child towards courage and independence and start creating a plan to modify your accommodation behaviours.

**IMPORTANT!

Accommodations are vital for lots of different needs, such as executive functioning deficits. However, they are NOT always beneficial for managing anxiety. In fact, over-accommodating anxiety can inadvertently reinforce anxiety, preventing children from developing essential coping skills. My focus is on creating a supportive environment where children can face and gradually overcome their fears, building confidence and resilience over time.

It's also crucial to understand that a strong, securely attached relationship with adults is foundational for any strategies I discuss to be effective.

Remember: our responses are ALWAYS supportive and empathetic. The strategies I discuss are designed to strengthen a child's emotional resilience within the context of a secure and supportive relationship. The goal is to avoid reinforcing anxiety through accommodation while still providing the necessary connection children need to thrive.

If you haven’t seen it, I also have a free webinar designed for mental health professionals but can be valuable for others too about the traps we fall into. Be sure to check it out at https://koru-learning-institute.thinkific.com/courses/avoidingcommonmistakeswithanxiety for a deeper understanding.

And, as promised, here are 50 examples of accommodations that worsen anxiety:
1. Speaking for a child in social situations.
2. Avoiding places or events to prevent a child’s social anxiety.
3. Giving excessive warnings about upcoming events.
4. Allowing a child to skip school during stressful periods.
5. Avoiding friends or family with pets due to a child’s phobia.
6. Modifying or skipping tests for students with test anxiety.
7. Not calling on a student in class to ease participation anxiety.
8. Parents staying in class to ease a child's separation anxiety.
9. Completing a child's tasks to avoid their frustration.
10. Avoiding certain foods that a child dislikes due to sensory issues.
11. Changing family plans to accommodate a child’s preferences.
12. Letting a child avoid chores due to anxiety about doing them wrong.
13. Always letting a child win games to avoid disappointment.
14. Avoiding discussions on topics that make a child uncomfortable.
15. Not enforcing bedtime due to fears of the dark or being alone.
16. Always driving a different route to avoid a child’s fear triggers.
17. Avoiding medical or dental visits due to a child’s fear.
18. Letting a child stay in their comfort zone and not encouraging new activities.
19. Always resolving conflicts for a child to avoid their stress.
20. Keeping a child home from extracurricular activities due to anxiety.
21. Allowing excessive screen time to avoid tantrums.
22. Pre-emptively removing potential stressors from a child’s environment.
23. Stepping in to finish a child’s homework to avoid their anxiety.
24. Canceling playdates or outings last minute due to a child's

Today on Overpowering Emotions, I continue the parent trap series with a focus on one of the most significant traps: Accommodation. As adults, it is our instinct to shield anxious children from distress. However, when we do this, are we helping or hindering their growth?

This episode delves deep into the effects of over-accommodation — from speaking for a shy child to avoiding certain social situations. We explore how these well-intentioned actions can inadvertently perpetuate and even worsen a child’s anxiety, leading to increased dependency and a lack of self-efficacy.

Join me as I discuss the importance of shifting from accommodation to empowerment. I’ll share examples demonstrating how reducing accommodations can build confidence and resilience in anxious children.

Discover the vital role of parents in this process — not as rescuers, but as supporters, guiding their children to face fears and develop coping skills.

Tune in to empower your child towards courage and independence and start creating a plan to modify your accommodation behaviours.

**IMPORTANT!

Accommodations are vital for lots of different needs, such as executive functioning deficits. However, they are NOT always beneficial for managing anxiety. In fact, over-accommodating anxiety can inadvertently reinforce anxiety, preventing children from developing essential coping skills. My focus is on creating a supportive environment where children can face and gradually overcome their fears, building confidence and resilience over time.

It's also crucial to understand that a strong, securely attached relationship with adults is foundational for any strategies I discuss to be effective.

Remember: our responses are ALWAYS supportive and empathetic. The strategies I discuss are designed to strengthen a child's emotional resilience within the context of a secure and supportive relationship. The goal is to avoid reinforcing anxiety through accommodation while still providing the necessary connection children need to thrive.

If you haven’t seen it, I also have a free webinar designed for mental health professionals but can be valuable for others too about the traps we fall into. Be sure to check it out at https://koru-learning-institute.thinkific.com/courses/avoidingcommonmistakeswithanxiety for a deeper understanding.

And, as promised, here are 50 examples of accommodations that worsen anxiety:
1. Speaking for a child in social situations.
2. Avoiding places or events to prevent a child’s social anxiety.
3. Giving excessive warnings about upcoming events.
4. Allowing a child to skip school during stressful periods.
5. Avoiding friends or family with pets due to a child’s phobia.
6. Modifying or skipping tests for students with test anxiety.
7. Not calling on a student in class to ease participation anxiety.
8. Parents staying in class to ease a child's separation anxiety.
9. Completing a child's tasks to avoid their frustration.
10. Avoiding certain foods that a child dislikes due to sensory issues.
11. Changing family plans to accommodate a child’s preferences.
12. Letting a child avoid chores due to anxiety about doing them wrong.
13. Always letting a child win games to avoid disappointment.
14. Avoiding discussions on topics that make a child uncomfortable.
15. Not enforcing bedtime due to fears of the dark or being alone.
16. Always driving a different route to avoid a child’s fear triggers.
17. Avoiding medical or dental visits due to a child’s fear.
18. Letting a child stay in their comfort zone and not encouraging new activities.
19. Always resolving conflicts for a child to avoid their stress.
20. Keeping a child home from extracurricular activities due to anxiety.
21. Allowing excessive screen time to avoid tantrums.
22. Pre-emptively removing potential stressors from a child’s environment.
23. Stepping in to finish a child’s homework to avoid their anxiety.
24. Canceling playdates or outings last minute due to a child's

22 min