Let’s face it. There’s a lot to be anxious about these days. Anxiety takes many forms, as explained here by Dr. Jennifer Bashant, CEO of Building Better Futures, an educational consulting company that works with parents, schools and companies in Saratoga Springs, NY and beyond. Dr. Bashant shares three helpful tips on recognizing anxiety in our children and ourselves, and some simple ways to manage that anxiety.

  1. RECOGNIZE THE ANXIETY. Anxiety, also known as the “masquerader”, often takes the form of anger, aggressiveness, avoidance or shutting down. What may appear as challenging behavior or defiance in your child may actually be anxiety or excessive worry.
  2. IDENTIFY THE FAULTY BELIEF. Are you hearing (or telling yourself) stories like “I’ll never be able to do this”, “I can’t handle this” or “I’m overwhelmed”? It also could take the form of catastrophic thinking, or thinking the worst is going to happen. Faulty beliefs can show up as perfectionism, or believing that your performance in sports or on tests determines your self-worth. Once you recognize that, you can better manage your response and decrease anxiety.
  3. LEARN THE MOVIE THEATRE RESPONSE. Pretend you’re looking from outside in. When you’re getting worried, how are you reacting? Common reactions include sweaty palms, getting red in the face and a pounding heart. Once you recognize it at the onset, you can tell yourself why you’re reacting in this way, and choose how you feel, gaining more control.

In addition to her international speaking and training, Dr. Bashant offers several webinars on a variety of topics, including her recently launched course “When Your Child Is Anxious“. Find out more about her services at her website,

PLEASE NOTE. If you or your child are experiencing extreme anxiety, we encourage you to seek help from a mental health professional.

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