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HELPING CHILDREN CHANGE SERIES: Presents No More Worrying!!! What Science Tells Us About Helping Children Be Less Stressed and Happier Scarsdale Library.

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Presentation on theme: "HELPING CHILDREN CHANGE SERIES: Presents No More Worrying!!! What Science Tells Us About Helping Children Be Less Stressed and Happier Scarsdale Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 HELPING CHILDREN CHANGE SERIES: Presents No More Worrying!!! What Science Tells Us About Helping Children Be Less Stressed and Happier Scarsdale Library March 7, 2014 Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

2 Goals of the Talk Review the latest research in HELPING CHILDREN CHANGE (workshop 1). Discuss strategies to help children be 1) LESS STRESSED and 2) HAPPIER.

3 A Little Bit About Me BeforeAfter

4 Review of Workshop 1: Helping Children Change It all starts with a positive relationship. There needs to be an agreement on the goal(s). Understanding where your child falls on the cycle the of change (pre-contemplative, contemplative, planning, action, maintenance). Developmental considerations (e.g., frontal lobe, black and white thinking, poorer emotional control). Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

5 Review of Workshop 1: How We Change Even when we want to change- we are ambivalent about change; our hearts and minds often disagree. There is often a tug of war between our rational (long-term) and emotional (impulsive) brain. Make it a habit. Need to change our thinking, behavior/ emotions, and shape the path to our benefit. Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

6 “The Yerkes-Dodson Law of Arousal” Performance increases with arousal, but only to a certain point. When levels of arousal become too high, performance will decrease. Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

7 Is Stress and Worry Good, Bad, or Something In Between? Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

8 Why Are Children So Stressed? Pressure to Succeed Need to Be Good at Everything Play Dates, “White Van”, and Helicopter Parents Internet/ Access to Information Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

9 When Should One Be Concerned About Their Child’s Level of Stress? Behaving Differently From Usual Avoids Activities That He/She Used to Enjoy. Significant Change in School Performance. Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

10 How Can Children Turn Their Worry Into an Appropriate Level of Concern To Feel Better? (1)Psycho-Educational (3) Changing One’s Behavior (physiological and avoidance) (2) Changing One’s Thoughts No? Yes! Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

11 Understanding Stress and Worry Nervous Systems Genetic Predisposition Worry as a Bad Habit Choose a Different Path Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

12 Changing One’s Thoughts How One THINKS About A Situation Affects How One Feels. Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” -- Shakespeare

13 Experiment 1 What Do You See? Look around the room and try to find all the examples of RED you can see. What have you spotted? Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

14 Experiment 2 Picture yourself in the following situation: You are standing in line at the bank. There are about 50 people around. A robber enters and fires his weapon. You get shot in the arm, but no one is hurt. Would you consider yourself lucky or unlucky? Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

15 Experiment 3 Worried Florida Old Lonely Orange Bingo Conservative wrinkle Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

16 Expecting the Worst ……Worrying Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

17 Changing Ones Thoughts Step1: Identify Negative Thoughts. 1)Look for Expecting the Worst. Step 2: Question and Challenge Thoughts. 1)Where is the Evidence? 2)Is it Helpful? Step 3: Come Up With More Realistic and Optimistic Thoughts to Feel Better. 1)There is no evidence… 2) Worrying won’t help…… Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

18 Step 1: Identifying Negative or Irrational Beliefs/Thinking Traps IRRATIONAL BELIEFS Demandingness – SHOULDS/ MUSTS Awfulizing – It Is Terrible! Low Frustration Tolerance – I Can’t Stand It! Global Rating of Self/Others. Self-Downing. Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

19 Step 2: Question and Challenge Thoughts Where is the evidence that what I am expecting will happen? Is it helpful how I am thinking? Would I think the same way if a friend presented this issue? Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

20 Step 3: Develop Rational Beliefs/Thoughts RATIONAL BELIEFS Wishes/ Preferences Living in the Gray I Can Stand It Total Self Acceptance Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

21 Mom, I’m Worried! Test AnxietyExpecting the Worst I am going to fail! It is going to be terrible! I will need to repeat the grade. If I fail I am a bad person! Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

22 Mom- I’m Confident! Confident Test Taker Realistic and Positive Thoughts There is no evidence that I will fail. I haven’t failed previous tests. Even if I fail, I am exaggerating how bad the results will be. Nobody gets left back in 7 th grade because of one test. Worrying is a waste of energy. It is really the worst thing I can do. Since when I worry, I am not paying attention fully to the test. Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

23 Demonstration Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

24 Irrational vs. Rational IRRATIONAL BELIEFS Demandingness – SHOULDS/MUSTS Awfulizing – It Is Terrible! Low Frustration Tolerance – I Can’t Stand It! Global Rating of Self/Others - Self Worth Tied to 1 Behavior or Action. Self-Downing RATIONAL BELIEFS Preferences Living in the Gray Realizing That They Can Stand It Not Judging Themselves Self Acceptance Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

25 Changing Behavior: Where Do I Feel Stress in My Body? Heart Pounding Blushing Chills Feeling Faint Dizziness Shortness of Breath Butterflies Shaky Headache Tightness in the chest Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

26 Quote “The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do that matters.” Cus D’Amato, Boxing manager for Mike Tyson Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

27 Changing Behavior: Physical Sensations Be A Detective Use your symptoms as clues to knowing when you are feeling worried. Think of fear not as a signal to RETREAT, but rather consider it a CUE to go forward. Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

28 Changing Behavior: Physical Sensations Spell Your Name with Belly Breaths Deep Muscle Relaxation Guided Imagery Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

29 Changing Behavior: Don’t Avoid Facing One’s Fear or Stress Manageable and Hierarchical Manner Fear Thermometer Success Breeds Success Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

30 Coping Cat- FEAR Plan F = Feeling Frightened? E = Expecting Bad Things to Happen? A = Attitudes and Actions that can Help. R = Results and Rewards FEAR Ladder or Situation Cards Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

31 What Works and Doesn’t Work to Decrease Stress and Worry? WORKS Possibility vs. Probability. Productive vs. Unproductive Worry. Role Model: Mirror Neurons. Give Worry a Name. What’s the Best, Worst, Most Likely Outcome? Write Down a Story With a Better Outcome. Developing a Growth vs. a Fixed Mindset. Separate Thinking from Action. I am simply having the thought…. DOES NOT WORK Can’t Tell Someone to Relax/Calm Down. The Person Needs to Get There Him/Herself. Don’t Fight Pink Elephants.

32 It’s Not Enough Not to Be Stressed. How Can We Help Our Children to be Happier? The Psychology of Happiness

33 Happiness Formula H = S + C + V H = Happiness S = Set point C = Conditions of your life (e.g., relationships, sense of control) V = Voluntary activities (where you can intervene most, e.g., finding flow)

34 V (Voluntary Activities) = Ways to Increase Happiness Journal the Positive Send an Appreciative Grateful Activity Identify Your Strengths and Talents/FLOW Random Acts of Kindness, Even Smiling Helps Have You Filled A Bucket Today?


36 Bucket Filling: 3 Rules

37 Rule 1: Be a Bucket Filler You can fill a bucket by acts of kindness to yourself and/or others. When you fill a bucket you feel good as well as the other person.

38 Rule 2: Don’t Dip When you dip into someone else’s bucket, you dip into your own. If we do dip, and we all do dip sometimes, sincerely apologize. Disagreeing and getting grounded are not dipping.

39 Rule 3: Use Your Lid Protect Your Own Bucket - guard and protect the good thoughts and feelings inside your bucket with your lid. Remember the person who is dipping is the one with the problem. Your lid controls how much you let out of your bucket. Use your lid to protect other people’s buckets.

40 Bucket Filling Activity

41 Some Last Thoughts Don’t Forget the Lesson from the Red Experiment. Live in the Moment. Remember those Mirror Neurons When We Individually Choose to be More Positive We Don’t Just Affect Ourselves We Affect Our Whole Community! Change Challenges to Opportunities

42 From Challenge to Opportunity After SANDY Seeing it as an OPPORTUNITY Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

43 Shawn Achor - The Happiness Advantage for Children zZck zZck

44 CBT Worksheet SituationWhat is the feeling associated with the Situation? How are you thinking about the situation? Challenging those thoughts 1. What Is the Evidence?________ 2. How Is It Helpful? ________ New more helpful way of thinking.New Feeling. Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman, Psychologist

45 What Did I Learn? Feedback for Me a. What did you find the most helpful? b. What is one thing you can take away from today’s talk and add to your life? c. What do you still have questions about?

46 Come Hear Workshop #3 at the Scarsdale Library WORKSHOP 3 - April 4th at 12 - “MY CHILD IS NOT WORRIED ENOUGH” Workshop focuses on helping children be more concerned, responsible, and future oriented.

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