Coming to Terms With Adolescent Anxiety By: Daniel Sherwin

Hi all, I am excited to include another guest blog post on the Wholeness Simplified Blog. This week's blog post addresses teens and anxiety, a situation that I often work with in my Danville therapy practice. This week's post is by Daniel Sherwin.

Daniel is a single dad raising two children. At, he aims to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.

Coming to Terms With Adolescent Anxiety 

Teens who are often gripped by episodes of anxiety have a physiological tendency to be unusually anxious. Your mission as the parent of the afflicted teen is to help them come to terms with their anxiety and learn how to manage it. Your teen may be anxious at times, so they must learn how to tolerate and cope when these instances occur. In time, these occurrences may fade or disappear altogether as your kid gradually walks into adulthood. Regardless, giving them a solid foundation on how to navigate anxiety will help them as they weather the trials and tribulations of life.

Here are four tips on how to come to terms with adolescent anxiety, for kids and parents alike:

Have Realistic Expectations

As a parent, you can’t assuage your child’s fears by telling them their nightmare scenario won’t take place. But you can support them by regularly expressing confidence in your kid. What they need you to do is set firm intentions that they will be okay, that they will be able to conquer their stress. As they grow older, they will gain more experience in facing their fears and coping with their anxiety, and this can lead to a decline in episodes and possibly an end of all anxiety attacks in the future.

Do Not Have Your Teen Run Away from Anxiety-Fueling Situations

Aiding any teen to skirt much-feared events is a Band-Aid solution to a wound that needs stitches. To lessen the tendency for anxiety in your teen, have them face their fears. Doing so will allow them to experience the release of tension and distress when the event has passed.

Be sure to respect your teen’s limits, but take care to encourage them to face their fears directly so long as they are in a controlled, safe environment.

Avoid Asking Anxiety-Feeding Questions

Asking questions directly about a teen’s anxious feelings of, say, an exam or prom will only amplify their anxiety. Opt instead to invite them to open up about the situation. Ask ,“How are you feeling about the test?” instead of “Are you anxious about your test?”

Anxiety as a Part of Life

Anxiety may be with your child off and on for the rest of their life, so encourage them to develop tolerance for their anxious tendencies. Keep acknowledging how difficult it is to be an anxious teen, while congratulating them on their efforts to come to terms with the problem.

One thing that has proven to be beneficial is to pair up your child with a therapy companion dog, particularly if your child suffers from severe anxiety. A canine who loves to be affectionate will simply absorb the negative energy of the anxiety afflicting your child and supplant this with love and support.  

Indeed, even when your teen is all grown up, and you, the parent, aren’t around to help them come to terms with an episode, a therapy dog is a good idea. There 24/7, a service dog will soothe and comfort your child, as well as instill a sense of purpose and responsibility. This last point is especially important, as anxiety is directly related to excessive self-absorption.

A Final Thought

Give your child the resources they need to manage their anxiety. Encourage your teen to participate in activities that are grounding and healthful such as playing sports or yoga, as these may assist them as they learn new coping mechanisms. Anxiety is a tough condition to overcome, but together, both parent and child can move mountains.

*If you've liked what you read and want to learn more, check out Daniel's website

photo cred: pixabay


Getting Your Home (and Yourself) Ready for Parenting With a Disability By: Ashley Taylor

Hi everyone! I am excited to say that I will be including guest blog posts on my Wholeness Simplified Blog. This week's post is by Ashley Taylor. 

Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

Getting Your Home (and Yourself) Ready for Parenting With a Disability

From the time you announced a baby was on the way, you have probably gotten all kinds of advice. Parenting advice is a dime a dozen, but the reality is that every family is unique and figuring out parenthood is a journey you and your partner must take on one day at a time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get organized, especially when you are an expectant parent who also has a disability. Preparing your home and your life now will make it easier to adjust when the time comes.

Home modifications

Whether you use a wheelchair, have a hearing or vision impairment, or mental health needs, you have probably already learned how to adapt at home to care for yourself. Now that you will have a baby to care for, too, there are adaptations that will make baby care easier and safer. What works for you will vary, of course, depending on your situation, but these are good general guidelines.

  • Extra safety precautions - Any expectant parent should go through their home and check off childproofing basics for everything from safe sleep to keeping little ones away from hazards. Safe Kids Worldwide is a  thorough resource, and it can be a great starting point for making sure your entire home is safe. When you have a disability, you may want to take some extra safety precautions. For example, one mother who is visually impaired tells CNN how she keeps furniture pushed in front of outlets, in addition to using outlet covers, as an extra safety measure. Prevent falls by removing any flooring surface that could be a trip hazard --  worn carpeting -- and instead using non-slip rugs and mats.

  • Day-to-day care - Other simple home modifications, like installing grab bars in tubs and showers to assist with bathing, make your home safer and also make daily parenting tasks easier. For parents with visual impairment,  using textured tape or Braille labels can help with meal preparation. You can also find adaptive baby gear and furniture, such as cribs and adaptive strollers. The most important thing is to do what fits your family’s unique needs.

Check in with your emotions

Preparing for parenthood is about more than just getting your home ready. You will be better able to handle the roller coaster of emotions if you take some time to prepare yourself emotionally now. Between hormonal changes for new moms, underlying mental health conditions and the sheer enormity of parenthood, adjusting to being a parent isn’t always easy.

According to Psychology Today, birth can bring up buried grief from your past and lead to a lost sense of self. A newborn baby depends on you entirely, which makes many new parents feel vulnerable. Even with home preparation and modifications, the sense of vulnerability may be stronger for parents with disabilities. The best thing you can do is become aware of your feelings about parenthood now and be willing to ask for help. After the baby is born, watch out for signs of postpartum depression or anxiety and don’t hesitate to seek help from your health care provider.

Seek Support and Connection

Along with professional support for mental health concerns, you will also benefit tremendously from the support and help of friends, family members, and other parents. Reach out to your support network now so you know who you can turn to when you need help. Now is also a good time to reach out to parents who are in a similar situation to yours.

Websites for organizations dedicated to certain disabilities, including The National Federation of the Blind, can be a great starting point. Connecting with other parents with disabilities will give you a sense of comfort, knowing that you aren’t alone in your experiences.

So much of parenthood is instinct, and even though you won’t always know exactly what to do, that instinct kicks in when you need it. That doesn’t mean you should just wait to figure it all out, though! Seek out resources and prepare your home and your life now so you’re ready when the time comes.

If you've liked what you read and want to learn more, check out Ashley's website

photo cred: pixabay