Managing Childhood Anxiety

Category: Health & Wellbeing

Tutor: Carina McEvoy   CarinaMcEvoy


This course is designed to help the adult understand and manage child anxiety. Upon learning more about anxiety, the course teaches fifteen specific techniques to reduce anxiety levels. The techniques are taught in an age appropriate and child centred way with the aim of the child being able to carry out the techniques themselves. With time and practice the dominance anxiety holds over the child’s life may reduce significantly.

The techniques are a collection of powerful tools that you and your child can use. They are instant tools that can be used pre, during and even after anxious events. They are simple pro-active strategies that will go a long way to relieve an anxious mind and build resilience against anxiety.

Duration: 5 weeks / Monday nights, Autumn/winter term (check timetable)

Course Objectives - After this course you will be able to:

ü  Understand why it is important to deal with your child’s anxiety and emotions now.

ü  Know how to talk to your child about their anxiety and mental health.

ü  Harness the power of their imagination and choice.

ü  Be aware of the therapies which really help reduce anxiety.

ü  Be able to carry out a collection of therapeutic techniques to relieve your child’s anxiety.

ü  Be aware of the importance of acquiring the skills of planning and problem solving.

ü  Teach your child these life skills of planning and problem solving using simple strategies.

Course Outline:


Course Content:

Session 1

  • Will this course solve all the problems?
  • Tackling childhood anxiety before it develops into more serious adult mental health issues.
  • Being vigilant about our children’s mental health.
  • Dealing with feelings at a young age.
  • Talking to children about anxiety.
  • Age appropriate & child friendly language in this course.
  • Tackling child anxiety without tackling confidence.
  • Forget self-esteem, aim for self-acceptance and true confidence.

Session 2

  • Resilience Building – Apply the sun cream.
  • Confidence building.
  • The exercise, water, food & mood link – looking after the car!
  • The Imagination – Our secret weapon!
  • The power of choice.
  • A list therapies used throughout the course.
  • Progressive relaxation and the benefits to the mind.
  • Progressive relaxation trick - Calming & relaxing exercise to ease the muscles and quieten the mind.

Session 3

  • Rational Emotional Behavioural Therapy (REBT).
  • REBT & Psychoeducation around emotions – helping a child to label & understand their emotions.
  • Big Macs – The unhelpful beliefs.
  • A closer look at anxiety as a thought and an emotion.
  • Helping a child to understand that anxiety is natural.
  • Teaching the child about thoughts, feelings and body sensations.
  • How thoughts can be positive – teaching a child that changing your thought can change how you feel.
  • The ‘What then?’ trick – Leading the child to a realistic outcome.

Session 4

  • Neuro Linguistic Programming.
  • Tell your body it’s okay to be nervous – Accepting anxiety for the nature of its existence.
  • Turn nervousness into excitement trick – Reframing anxiety.
  • Breathing - Diaphragmatic breathing to reduce anxiety.
  • Blow up a balloon in your tummy – Breathing exercise to reduce anxiety.
  • Replacing the yucky in my tummy– Replacing a negative thought with a positive thought.

Session 5

  • Body language.
  • The Superhero Pose trick – A technique to give confidence & courage.
  • The Magic Coat – A resilient coat for anxious times.
  • The benefits of mantra use.
  • My Poem – Creating a personal mantra with your child.
  • Mindfulness trick – Bringing our minds back to the present moment.
  • Rules for the past, present & future.

Session 6

  • The life skill of planning & problem solving.
  • ‘When Elephants Play Dominoes’ trick – Combining REBT & planning skills to help deal with anxious situations.
  • Worry envelope trick – Putting the worry away for a while.
  • Not really your worries trick! - Give the worry back to its owner.
  • Thankful Time trick – Reframing the negative and realising all the positive in our lives.

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