• Supporting Anxious Children | Dr Samantha Ruth | Episode 161

  • Supporting Anxious ChildrenOur teens can lock themselves away in their rooms, loose their desire to participate or achieve, lose their zest for life, become angry or moody. They can experience panic attacks and anxiety. We see that behavior and start wondering what to do about it, how to fix our kid. And all of these behaviors or outward signs can come from emotional pain. Our kids often have to deal with emotional pain, grief, and anxiety. Today’s guest has been there and has turned her pain into power. Her name is Samantha Ruth. She’s a coach, speaker, and author who digitally counsels people worldwide. Today she talks to Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler about how she turned her pain into power and what we can do to help our kids do the same.



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    We can’t control how we feel and shouldn’t expect our kids to either. We can expect them to control what they do about it, but not what they feel.

    High Points From Our Conversation on Supporting Anxious Children:

    We should expect our anxious children to be able to control how they feelSam felt like it was the end of the world and her grief brought her to her knees. The struggle with her grief brought out her anxiety. 

    Sam suffered from anxiety since she was a child and her grief amplified it. She started have meltdowns everywhere.

    A lot of people with panic attacks and anxiety are told to pull themselves together and to fix it. She couldn’t do that and eventually just let herself break down.

    She wore a mask so other people only saw what she wanted them to see. Inside, her anxiety was running the show.

    She didn’t eat or sleep very much. She wasn’t functioning very well, even to the point she simply did what people told her to do.

    The one thing that helped was spending time outdoors with her dog.

    In order to support anxious children, we need to let them know we have to feel the feelings in order to move onto the next phase.

    It can be uncomfortable to be around people who are in emotional pain but they need us to meet them where they’re at. “I love you and I’m concerned. Can we talk somewhere? Where are you comfortable talking?” Let them tell you where they will feel safe.

    We want to help them but we are at a loss so we ask them what they need. The problem is that sometimes they don’t know what they need. So, instead of asking open-ended questions, give them just a few choices.

    Focusing on your physical senses helps to break through panic attacks and anxiety.

    Distraction often works better than talking things out in the moment. You can, and should, come back to it again later, maybe the next day. 

    When our children experience panic attacks and anxiety, it’s important to know what’s bothering them but you don’t have to know right that minute. Pushing them to talk about it right that moment can ramp up their anxiety.

    Instead of ambushing your teen and making them talk about it the moment you want to, tell them you want to talk and ask when they would like to do that.

    You can pick a code word to use with your teen so when their anxiety is rising or they feel a panic attack coming on they can use that word, even in front of other people, and you’ll know what’s happening.

    Supporting anxious children can be done with a code word. When your teen can tell you they feel a panic attack or anxiety coming on through a code word, it lets you talk about your feelings and what’s happening.

    One of our biggest tools is our voice.

    Supporting anxious children means telling our teens we understand they have feelings and we want them to express those feelings. I would like to work together to develop some vocabulary around that so we can communicate. I will also use that to express my feelings as well. 

    We can’t control how we feel and shouldn’t expect our kids to either. We can expect them to control what they do about it, but not what they feel.

    We don’t always move from “life it terrible” to “life is great”. Oftentimes we need to move to a more neutral feeling before we can reach positive.


    Helping Our Teenager Deal With Loss | Mark Hundley | Episode 15 

    You Can Stop Worrying About Your Anxious Child | Tonya Crombie | Episode 155

    Our Guest Samantha Ruth:

    Samantha Ruth discusses supporting anxious childrenSamantha Ruth earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Michigan and her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Center for Humanistic Studies.  Today she is a coach, speaker, and author who digitally counsels people worldwide. Samantha’s mission is to change the way the world views mental health.  She is the best selling author of Women Who Illuminate. She has several other book releases throughout 2020 into 2021, including Redefining Ruthless and a book collaboration, We are the Face of Mental Illness. She is a Telehealth Therapist and founder of The Ruthology Method. Her passion and transformational specialities are in anxiety, grief, addiction and suicide.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit www.samantharuth.com 

    Resources for Moms:

    Date to Find Your Soulmate: How to Get the Man of Your Dreams Through Strategic and Successful Dating Techniques Just 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time.

    The Art and Science of Saying No: Ditch Guilt, Find Time, and Enjoy Your Life More www.sandyfowler.com/saying-no with Sandy Fowler