Overcoming Anxiety & Replacing it With Confidence to Raise Worry-Free Kids

“Stop being so hard on yourself; that is not helpful for any parent ever. Replace those harder thoughts with gentler, kinder thoughts, and remember God loves us and believes in us in these moments.” -Sissy Goff.

Sissy Goff, LPC-MHSP, has worked as the director of child and adolescent counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries since 1993. She speaks to parents and children’s ministers across the country and is a frequent guest on media outlets such as Southern Living, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, Focus on the Family, That Sounds Fun, Family Life Today, Fox News, and many more. Sissy Goff is the author of 13 books, including Modern Parents Vintage Values and The Worry-Free Parent. She co-hosts the chart-topping Raising Boys and Girls podcast with fellow Daystar Counselor David Thomas.

Key Takeaways:
  • Media and technology have become anxiety-provoking in kids and adults.
  • Four characteristics of parents that could negatively influence kids to grow up with anxiety:
    1. Overly cautious of the world.
    2. Critical and set unreasonably high expectations.
    3. Emotionally insecure or dependent.
    4. Suppress expression and don’t express feelings by being self-assertive.
  • Two of the most inefficient coping strategies parents use for anxiety are escape and avoidance.
  • Anxiety is an overestimation of the problem and an underestimation of ourselves.
  • If we are reinforcing our kids’ behaviors and pulling them out of situations or keeping them from challenging situations, we are feeding into that anxiety and anxiousness and not helping them learn and overcome obstacles.
  • The benefits of teaching our children to be mindful and to be present where they are.
  • The three-door technique is great for kids who are having trouble sleeping, and it’s basically a coping tool where kids pick three places that they love and feel safe in, and then they close their eyes and pick the first place and go through a door, and they describe everything that they see, feel, and smell, and then they move on to the next door.
  • Five things you can teach your children to do when anxiety takes over: notice the negative thought, give that thought a name (for example, the worry monster), ask, “Is that thought true? Does this really happen every single day?” Then replace that negative thought with the truth.

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