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

  • You can stop worrying about your anxious child.Are you dealing with a teen who’s slamming doors and having big emotional outbursts, who’s angry or endlessly scrolling their phone? Or a child who is indecisive, even about basic decisions? These are common behaviors for an anxious teenager. If you are parenting an anxious child, you are far from alone.  You are part of a very big and growing club!  If you feel guilty because you did things wrong or didn’t realize the reason your child was behaving the way they were, you’re not alone there either. Tonya Crombie has been there. She’s a mom and a psychologist who struggled to understand her own anxious child. Listen in as she shares what she learned with Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler. They discuss anxiety in teens, what it looks like, and what you can do to help.



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    When you’re dealing with an anxious child, the calm has to start with you.

    High Points From Our Conversation About Your Anxious Child:

    A quote on helping your anxious child by staying calm.Unlike every other thing that had happened as a mom, it was about me getting them what they needed. This isn’t just me taking car of her. There’s a huge component of taking care of me, getting my fears and anxiety under control.

    Anxiety is a normal part of the human experience.

    Taking care of yourself as a parent is core to being the best parent you can be, especially with an anxious child.

    Tonya had lots of education, taught child development and thought she should have gotten it right. In spite of all that, she made a lot of mistakes so don’t beat yourself up. Having an anxious child can be hard.

    When your child has a panic attack, our instinct is to panic ourselves. However, when you panic then the situation spirals downward. The calm has to start with you.

    If you panic and go into fight/flight/freeze you can’t think or help your child. If you stay calm then you can help them and think through options.

    Everyone feels anxiety. Teens are especially impacted.

    One thing we can do in ourselves to help channel anxiety is breathe. Take long, slow, deep breaths. This takes our brain away from anxious thoughts. It also creates a physical feedback system telling our brain that we’re okay and safe.

    On top of feeling anxious, our child thinks there’s something wrong. Speaking up about our own anxious feelings can help them. When you feel anxious, say something like, “I’m feeling a little anxious so I’m going to take some deep breaths”. This lets them know they are normal and it’s not a problem.

    An anxious child will go into fight, flight, or freeze. This is what that might look like:

    • Fight: This comes out as anger so they may stomp, slam doors, have big emotional outbursts that seem out of proportion to the situation. They may be grumpy.
    • Flight: They may run away from you. When they’re young they may hide under things. As teenagers, they may just scroll on their phone. This is different from kids who are enjoying themselves checking Tik Tok or the SnapChat.
    • Freeze: This looks like indecision. They may not be able to make a basic decision.

    The phone is a crutch we all have to help us avoid difficult feelings or feeling awkward.

    We can help our anxious child through an anxious moment best by just being in the moment with them. Allow them to take the time they need and remind them this is normal. This is how your body works. It’s okay. If your body needs to feel this way then we’lll let it be this way as long as it needs to.


    Get a free copy of Tonya’s book at www.fromanxioustocalm.com 

    Is Your Teen Acting Out In School Or Showing Anxiety About School? | Dr. Elaine Fogel Schneider | Episode 66

    What is FOMO and The Impact On Our Teens | Robin Axelrod Sabag | Episode 39

    Our Guest Tonya Crombie:

    Tonya Crombie talks about helping your anxious child.Tonya Crombie is the bestselling author of Stop Worrying About Your Anxious Child.  She’s also a certified life coach who likes nothing better than helping parents manage their children’s anxiety.  Tonya has an MBA and a doctorate in Industrial/Organizational psychology.  She founded her coaching practice after leaving a successful corporate career to have more time with her family.  She lives outside of New Orleans with her awesome husband, two amazing teenagers and two extremely barky dogs.


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