This blog is for educational purposes only.
Parent-Child Guide to Coping with Anxiety is now a reality. Lora and I are very excited to announce its release by FriesenPress. By sharing our experiences working together to learn and integrate stress coping skills in our lives, we hope to inspire many parents and children to do the same.
The publication of this book marks a new beginning. The eight-year-long writing process repeatedly triggered memories of all new chapters in our lives that brought about meaningful changes and prepared us to seize great opportunities.
We all experience new life chapters, propelling us to adjust to a fluid set of circumstances known as life transitions. Some of these new chapters are normative developmental transitions like the transition from childhood to adolescence, transition to adulthood, middle age, and old age. Some transitions are driven by life's unexpected forces and people's instincts to survive and keep going. I call these transitions tough as they might include facing adverse events like natural disasters, illnesses, pandemics, losses, and so on. There are also transitions that are driven by our motivations to improve our lives, the lives of our loved ones, and our communities. Let's call these transitions uplifting. Sometimes, all these kinds of changes are somehow separated. At other times, they occur all at once, prompting us to think, act, and reorganize our lives at a new or different level.
Parent-Child Guide to Coping with Anxiety aims to support everyone who chooses to deal with their anxiety, stresses, and life transitions head-on while staying true to their values. Throughout the workbook, Lora and I convey several important messages to our readers:
(1) Emotional regulation skills support us when dealing with life stresses and embracing new developments with a sense of purpose and legacy.
When we face a major life transition, our stress level naturally increases and sometimes weakens our ability to cope. Parent-Child Guide to Coping with Anxiety provides a tool kit for caregivers and their children to support them in managing big feelings while learning to navigate various obstacles. The readers will learn to identify their values, motivations, and desires to live in ways that are meaningful and helpful for them.
Our main message is this: embrace life's unavoidable stumbling blocks as a learning challenge that "will help me cope well with stress and setbacks, drawing positive energy from my sense of purpose and belonging to my family and community."
(2) When caregivers deal effectively with their stresses using a repertoire of coping tools to help them survive and thrive, this has a spillover effect on their children.
Many years of cross-cultural research have shown that parents' mental health impacts their children's health and well-being. When parents are able to manage their feelings and deal effectively with life obstacles, they provide role modeling for their children, thus laying a foundation for intergenerational resilience. Consequently, children build resilience by learning emotion regulation skills naturally.
"Parent-Child Guide to Coping with Anxiety" will encourage parents to reflect on their stresses, strengths, and values and understand how these impact their daily lives and the lives of their loved ones. Caregivers will learn about the five pillars of parental resilience and how to support their children's social-emotional development by modeling and gently reinforcing the five pillars of success.
(3) Parent-Child to Coping with Anxiety has a biographical component.
When we encounter any life challenge – loss, an obstacle, unfairness, and a "tough" transition to a new sense of being – we experience big feelings. Learning to accept, allow, and regulate these feelings and related thoughts and actions is vital in reaching our goals while surfing life's turbulent waves. We can cope with each developmental, tough, or uplifting transition in two ways:
By engaging in joint practices of reflecting on their experiences, parents and children will create more opportunities for deep connections, meaningful conversations, and solving various problems aligned with what matters to them, strengthening positive family memories.
Parent and child readers will learn that training their brains to deal with anxiety and other big feelings will help them to . . .
~ reinforce positive relationships within their families, friends, and others in the community,
~ enhance their ability to cope with significant life obstacles by learning to be psychologically flexible and resilient, and
~ live their lives with joy and appreciation of their efforts and successes by learning from their vulnerabilities, using their strengths, and shaping their sense of purpose and meaning.
Lora and I hope to inspire caregivers and children to gently challenge their comfort zone by learning anxiety-conquering practices while building a resilient mindset.
We wish you curiosity, patience, and joy in your family journey on the pathway our workbook would empower you to pave together and build a fulfilling life story!
Lora and Dr. Dessy