Hope for the Worried Child

by | For Special Needs | 4 comments

If your child has undue anxiety about his studies, his social interactions, or his health issues, consider tips from these free online articles to be sure you are not unintentionally encouraging anxious thinking:

You might also work through some chapters in this book: Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents. The author takes a cognitive approach with topics like “Detective Thinking” to help the child detect (and allay) his own anxiety-inducing thoughts.

For older grammar school or middle-school students, it might be time to introduce a new “class,” perhaps  once a week, with written or oral exploration of these topics, No pressure, just curious discussion. If the student is not a strong reader, you could work through some of the chapters yourself, and then present one or two exercises that might apply.


  1. Jennifer Belknap

    Thank you for these suggestions! We are struggling with this for my nine year old daughter.

  2. Cheryl Swope

    Sorry to hear about your daughter, Jen. I hope some of the exercises will be helpful for her.
    (This is a good reminder for me to add lessons to address anxiety in our upcoming Social Skills & Manners program.) Please let me know if anything here is especially beneficial.


  3. Victoriana

    Thank you for addressing this issue. My daughter was diagnosed as having severe OCD about 3 years ago. It has been a struggle knowing how to help. And so many therapists haven’t been trained in CBT. Also, I wish the church (LCMS, in my case), had more resources as well. Thanks again.

  4. Cheryl Swope

    Interesting comment! I have begun working with CPH (LCMS), so maybe we can address this more formally.

    In the meantime, I feel for you! You are right. We need more CBT-trained therapists, especially in rural areas. My daughter has struggled with OCD from toddlerhood, so we are very familiar with helping the mind become “unstuck,” free, peaceful, and flexible. You might appreciate this resource: OCD in Children & Adolescents.

    Also, given your faith background, you might paint, frame, or create beautiful reminder cards of sacred Scriptures related especially to peace and courage, that through the Word, the Holy Spirit may assist all of your efforts in ways beyond anything we can do for our children on our own.

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

    “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    And my daughter’s own confirmation verses, Isaiah 41:8-10

    But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    the offspring of Abraham, my friend;

    you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
    and called from its farthest corners,
    saying to you, “You are my servant,
    I have chosen you and not cast you off”;

    fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
    I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    Blessings to you and to your daughter —


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