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(p. 97) How Can You Be Supportive? 

(p. 97) How Can You Be Supportive?
Chapter:
(p. 97) How Can You Be Supportive?
Author(s):

Eli R. Lebowitz

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190883522.003.0007
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date: 25 January 2021

This chapter highlights the importance of support for anxious children. Children with high levels of anxiety often feel helpless and vulnerable in the face of the overwhelming anxiety they experience. They have often learned that the way to cope with anxiety is to rely on avoidance and accommodation, and they may not believe they are able to cope any other way. Support is the parents’ way of helping the child to cope with the challenge of less accommodation, and it provides the parents with an alternative way to respond to the child when the child is anxious. When responding to a child who is anxious, support means showing the child two things: acceptance and confidence. Parents are being supportive when they respond to the child’s anxiety in any way that tells the child that they get it, that they understand the child is actually anxious, and that they do not judge him for it (acceptance). Supportive also means showing the child that the parents have complete confidence that the child is actually able to cope with some anxiety, and that they know the child can be OK despite feeling anxious (confidence).

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