Presentation on theme: "Managing Children’s Anxieties: A New Opportunity for Parents as Coaches The F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids Mental Health Care."— Presentation transcript:
1 Managing Children’s Anxieties: A New Opportunity for Parents as Coaches The F.O.R.C.E.Society for Kids Mental Health Care
2 Think of what you’ve felt like when you’ve had a positive experience … STOPThink of what you’ve felt like when you’ve had a positive experience …
3 What kind of experience do you want your child to have? ll
4 Truth versus BeliefApprox. 9,000 children and youth in BC have an anxiety disorder. TruthPoor parenting is the cause of the disorders. BeliefParents of children ill with a mental disorder are treated with less respect. TruthParents can help prevent kid’s worries from developing into anxiety disorders. TruthAlmost 1 in 10 babies in a hospital nursery will exhibit signs of stress or anxiety. Truth
5 The F.O.R.C.E. HistoryWho We Are… We are parents whose children’s lives are touched by mental disorders When We Learned We Weren’t Alone… January 2000…and every day since Why We Formed a Society… To ensure mental health care and services are provided to children and youth and to assist their families in finding information and support
6 Anxiety is Normal….Everyone has it Approach & avoidance behavioursSafety signalsNormal emotional response essential for survivalThreat cuesIndividual differences in the experience of anxiety
7 What is your secret /not so secret fear? Group ExerciseWhat is your secret /not so secret fear?Rate it on a fear thermometer of 1-5What are your body clues when you are feeling anxious?Form circle and exchange papers
8 Now, imagine…You had learned skills to cope with your fears or worries at age 9!!!Your children can have that chanceYou can learn how to coach your kids in these skills
9 F eelingsR emember to RelaxI can do it! I can try my best!E xplore Solutions and Coping Step PlansN ow reward yourself! You’ve done your best!D on’t forget to practice!S mile! Stay calm for life!
10 Why “FRIENDS”……FRIENDS is an acronym for the skills and strategies taught in the programOur body is our friendBe a good friend to ourselvesMake new friendsTalk to our friends
11 Program Approach All feelings are normal What we DO with our feelings is what counts the most
12 FRIENDS in the classroom Offered to all school districts in BCBased on prescribed learning outcomes for grades 4 & 5 in personal planningFirst time ever offered in the classroom, versus individual or groups outside of class settingParent component being offered for first time this year
13 I = I can do it! I can try my best! Thoughts - feelings - behavioursSelf talkHelpful, powerful, positive, optimistic green thoughtsUnhelpful, negative, pessimisticred thoughtsAttention training exercisesthink like a winner !!
14 I’ll give it my best shot! Second place is a great effort! I = I can do it! I can try my best!I’ll give it my best shot!I can do it!Second place is a great effort!I will get better!The link between thoughts and feelingsUnhelpful Red Thoughts=Sad, worried, angry feelingsHelpful Green ThoughtsHappy, confident feelings
15 FLEXIBILITY in THINKING FeelingsDifficultSituationUnhelpfulthoughtsReactiveBehavioursProblem SolvingGenerate many solutions as a family/school groupHelpfulthoughtsFeelingsProactiveBehaviours
16 Changing Unhelpful Red Thoughts page 30 Feelings:fearsadnessHelplessnesslonelyBehaviourscryingseeking reassurancewithdrawingannoying othersgiving upThoughts:no-one likes meI’m going to be aloneEveryone thinks I am a geekI’ll have no funDifficultSituation:Findingsomeoneto play withfind someone before play time beginsOlder buddy / mentorbring toy / game to shareteacher intervenefind ways to initiate play with othersKeep chart monitor successProblem SolvingGenerate many solutions as a family/school groupBehaviourssmilingapproaching otherscourageassertivetaking riskshaving funreliefincreased confidenceempowermenthappyFeeling OKI can be a good friendTeacher cares and knowsI played the other dayI can be happy doing something I enjoy
17 Thought Exercise Provide group with scenario List ‘red’ thoughts that may occurList ‘green’ thoughts that can replace ‘red thoughts’
18 Ways Others Can Help Encouragers Just try your best! You can do it!You did that really well!I’m proud of you for trying hard!You’re doing great, keep practicing!Encourage children to pay attention to positivesTo focus on the positive aspects of every situation.Positive things from within, from others, or from the situation itself.To expect good things to happen
19 Why Is It Important to Involve Parents? (leader manual p. 107) Encourage more time with their children:Listening to their children’s solutionsDiscussion of positive consequencesReinforcement of proactive plansModel approach and assertive plansEstablish routines, quiet time, adequate sleep time and appropriate dietMonitoring and mentoring supportive friendships
20 Knowing what to do… helping families help their kids
21 Benefits of Parent Training Become aware of their coping style & cognitive styleDevelopment of stress management strategiesPractice modelling positive brave behavioursDevelopment of realistic expectationsEnhancement of family teamworkLearn to help their children think in helpful waysAwareness of child’s difficulties / fears; “at risk” timesCatch their child being brave, and reinforce themHelp their children/youth form support networks
22 Parent Training in BCLed by The F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids Mental Health (with funding from MCFD)Offered to 15 school districts across BC – new component for 20052 sessions for 2 hoursIdeally facilitated by school counselorCollaboration with PAC and Mental Health TeamContact : DonnaKeli Anderson:
23 PAC RoleTo advocate for The FRIENDS program in your school/school districtTo talk about and ask for presentations on The FRIENDS program at your PAC meetingTo co-facilitate the parents’ training with your school counselor and MCFD therapist
24 What makes a difference Talking to other parentsMaking connections and building relationships in the school and communityHaving some easy, practical tools to applyLearning to react differentlyFinding one person in the school who can act as a ‘safe’ person for the child
25 Continuum of CareThe skills learned in grades 4 or 5 with the FRIENDS become life skills to be used forever.Parents can also use the skill when they hit a rough patch or situationJust because your child is doing well today, doesn’t mean they don’t need skills for managing stress and anxiety tomorrow.
26 Our Kids, they’re counting on us To act as a community to support and help themTo see them through a different “lense”, and think of them beyond their behaviourTo help their parents get through the really tough times
27 We need to be WITH and FOR children, not AT them.
29 Resources & Contact Info“Taming the Worry Dragon” SeriesIncludes books, manuals and videotapes“Anxiety Disorders in Children and Youth”Special issue of VISIONS (BC’s mental health journal)Self-test for Teens experiencing anxiety problemsSelf-test for parents of a child experiencing anxiety problems