Ease Your Child’s Anxiety by Changing Your Response, with Eli Lebowitz, PhD

It's natural for anxious kids to look towards their parents for soothing and reassurance when they're anxious, stressed, or worried. It's equally natural for parents to want to relieve their child from that distress. Listen as Dr. Eli Lebowitz of the Yale Child Study Center shares the trap parents often fall into that can leave their child feeling more anxious. Dr. Lebowitz shares a powerful message you can give your child that helps them learn they can cope with their anxiety and become less anxious over time.

Take a listen.


Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after hearing this vlog? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. Brigitte Bolte on February 25, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Makes sense, but I wonder then in the moment, how do we support them through the anxiety and empower them to trust in develop those coping skills? How do we get them to break away?

    • Lauren+Hutchinson on February 25, 2021 at 10:24 pm

      That’s a great question, Brigitte. I think it’s like a muscle that for some of our kids is best built slowly with easier anxiety challenges to start so they can get some success under their belt. The method calls for one anxiety target at a time. I highly recommend Dr. Lebowitz’s book for a lot more guidance on this subject.
      Renee Jains has a wonderful session on anxiety in the Summit that is also worth watching. Her new book ‘Superpowered’ for kids is so good and readable, and gives them a lot of tools to use with their anxiety. It is the new book I am recommending to my anxiety clients in the 8-13yo range.
      Lauren with the BQ Team

  2. MARY A FROOK on February 25, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    What about when the anxiety manifests itself as frequent urination or inability to change clothes? How do we help our children then, adolescent children?

    • Lauren+Hutchinson on February 25, 2021 at 11:29 pm

      Anxiety can indeed activate a stress response that can cause specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes for a person. The frequent urge to pee or urinating without control can be one of those symptoms. It’s important to rule out medical causes first with a doctor (e.g. bladder infection). With more severe anxiety, the gold standard is a combination of medication and CBT therapy with a therapist who can guide a process that is a good fit for your child.
      Don’t miss Renee Jain’s talk on anxiety (she has a great book called ‘Superpowered’), as well as the talks by Stephen Porges, Mona Delahooke, and Stuart Shanker.
      Lauren with the BQ Team

  3. Seth Perler on February 25, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    This is so well articulated!

    • Lauren+Hutchinson on February 25, 2021 at 10:12 pm

      I know, right, Seth? You will have to check out his full interview in the Summit. The whole interview is that sharp and on-point.
      -Lauren with the BQ Team

  4. Karen Scott on February 25, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    This sound bite was great and I completely get it so hoping that as parents and grandparents we will gain some tools for helping our anxious wee humans in those moments. … to empower THEM.

    • Lauren H on February 25, 2021 at 11:33 pm

      So glad you found this helpful, Karen! I love the empowerment approach too 🙂
      -Lauren with the BQ Team

  5. Felicia on March 1, 2021 at 9:45 am

    If I encourage my anxious child to handle their worries on their own, rather than seek assurance from me, how do I know they aren’t just suffering in silence?

  6. Lauren Hutchinson on March 1, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks for asking this, Felicia. I don’t want to answer for Dr. Lebowitz, so I will just share my own experience using SPACE as a mental health clinician. The SPACE method does not advocate for removing support for a child during an anxious episode. It does, however, suggest ways to support a child or teen that may look and sound different from what we normally do. We know that anxiety doesn’t tend to resolve on its own, and in fact can get driven deeper with well-intentioned reassurance and ability to avoid what is uncomfortable. The goal is to use the method systematically to express care by validating a child’s experience of anxiety, while also showing confidence in a child’s ability to tolerate discomfort. Dr. Lebowitz’s book does a great job of describing what parents should say and do.
    I’m excited for you to see the full version of this talk, as well as the talk with Renee Jains about anxiety. They are two completely separate ideas but may offer new strategies for responding to a child’s anxiety that empower a child to learn how to start building their own internal resources for managing anxiety. That is the ultimate goal!
    Lauren with the BQ Team

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