Anxious Kids = Anxious Parents

Does your child suffer from excessive fears and worries, phobias, separation anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or other anxiety related issues? Do you want to help your child push through his/her fears to become more resilient, independent, and happy? Anxious children often make anxious parents.  While anxious parents can also make anxious children.  Is your anxious child making you "walk on eggshells" and feel helpless? If so, this class is for you!

In this four week class, we will cover the basics of anxiety from a Cognitive Behavioral perspective. This will give you a better idea of the key areas to be looking for when your child is anxious.  We will also discuss how to remain emotionally and physically neutral, while being empathetic to your child.  You will learn Cognitive Behavioral parenting strategies to help your child be less dependent on you and more confident to work though anxious situations on his/her own.  


Randy Floyd, LSCSW, Founder, Clinical Level Therapist

Randy is the founder of Midwest Anxiety.  He is a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker who is an optimist and passionate about helping people focus on what they can do rather than what they can't do.  Randy believes that building a strong therapeutic relationship and tapping into a person's strengths are the most essential components of the therapeutic experience.  Randy is passionate about changing the way we do mental health.  He is focused on making mental health normal, a positive experience.  He is also adamant about doing mental health differently.  Randy believes the "old ways" suggest mental health is for the "broken" or "mentally ill."  Randy believes that "Everyone Struggles."  Sure.  Some people struggle more than others, but everyone struggles with something.  With this belief, Randy is focused on providing a wide range of programs and services to help people be mentally well ;) Go give Randy a fist bump on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.



August 9, 2018, 7:00pm-8:00pm: Anxiety Basics

We will discuss the basics of anxiety.  This discussion will help you see how your child thinks, feels, and acts during anxious situations.  You will be more confident with weathering the anxiety storm knowing the anxiety cycle your child is experiencing.

August 16, 2018, 7:00pm-8:00pm: Parenting Rules to Help Your Child Be More Self Confident

We will discuss "parenting rules" to help your child be less dependent on you and more self confident during anxious situations.  

August 23, 2018, 7:00pm-8:00pm: Motivating Your Child to "Push Through" Anxiety

Sometimes anxious kids are not motivated to "push through" the anxious situations.  What do you do when the anxiety is impacting your child's life and your child doesn't want to work through the anxiety?  We will discuss a behavioral modification plan for you to use during those unmotivated moments.

August 30, 2018, 7:00pm-8:00pm: Putting it All Together

We've talked about alot of ways to parent your anxious child.  Now its time to put it all together.  We will spend time answering your "what do I do when...." and "what happens when...."  You will come out this discussion with a plan of action.

WEEK 1: Anxiety basics

Anxiety makes your child's...

  1. Thoughts
    1. Zone into the threat, thoughts become negative. 
    2. Difficult to focus on other things other than anxious situation.
  2. Feelings
    1. Experience various physiological sensations such as heart palpitations, sweating, headaches, etc.
  3. Behaviors
    1. Fight, Flight, or Freeze. 
    2. Generally need reassurance, accommodations, or avoidance.
Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 9.52.48 AM.png

Two things have to happen: Be uncomfortable and be uncertain.

Two things have to happen for your child to be more confident to better manage anxiety. You have to let your child:

  1. Be Uncomfortable- Understand and embrace you are going to "feel" uncomfortable.  Instead of avoiding the physical symptoms, you beat anxiety by going into the physical symptoms.  The more you go into the physical symptoms, the more they decrease over time. 
  2. Be Uncertain- Embrace that you don't know how things are going to turn out.  You may stumble over your words.  Someone might laugh at you.  Your cheeks may get red.  But you will be able to "handle it."  Don't seek certainty as you will lose the game.

Get away from these Parenting Mindsets

  1. Global- Paint things with too broad of a brush.  Always, never.  Huge statements that get in the way of progress.  You always..... Instead break things into parts.
  2. Catastrophic- Jumping to the worst case scenario.  Instead problem solve.
  3. Permanent- Things won't change.  Support that things change all the time.  "Growth Mindset."


  1. Expect your child to get anxious, expect your child to worry.  Celebrate your child getting anxious, because that is when the true work happens.
  2. Stop providing content to reassure, accommodate, and avoid the anxiety.  Don't make it better!  Help your child problem solve.
  3. Name and externalize the anxiety.  "It sounds like the anxiety is showing up again, what do YOU think you should do about it?"
  4. Create a different identity for your child other than than "your anxiety." Rather refer to it as "the anxiety."  Your child is more than anxiety.
  5. Let your child be uncertain and uncomfortable.  This will help them build tolerance and skills to anxiety.
  6. You are responsible to your child, not for your child.  Your child is responsible for good and not so good choices.
  7. Focus on effort, not achievement.
  8. Your responses to your child (positively or negatively) reinforces the anxiety.  The goal is to help your child become more independent (less dependent on you) so that you and your child are confident in your child being self sufficient at age 18.
  9. Don't get overwhelmed by the consequences of your child being anxious.

Week 2: Parenting Rules to Help Your Child Be More Self-Confident

The goal this week is to establish how to parent your anxious child.  The goal is to support and validate your child's experiences, while also setting expectations and boundaries to help your child become more self confident.

This is a Family Thing.....

Your child becoming more skillful and managing requires your assistance.  How you might parent as a loving parent conflicts with how you parent when your child is anxious.  You must recognize you have a role in reshaping your child's relationship with anxiety.

ways to manage your child's anxious thoughts, feelings, & behaviors


  1. Zone into the threat, thoughts become negative, distorted, unrealistic. Encourage but don't make your child "Think opposite thought" At the most tell your child "you can handle whatever happens"  Encourage your child to explore the evidence to support thoughts.
  2. Difficult to focus on other things other than anxious situation.  Help your child identify his/her strengths.  Help your child focus on he/she is someone more than anxiety. Create a more positive/confident energy to fight against anxiety.


  1. Experience various physiological sensations such as heart palpitations, sweating, headaches, etc.  Teach your child breathing, muscle relaxation, and general relaxation.  Don't force this.  It can have the opposite effect of what you want.  If all else fails, encourage your child to "push through" physical feelings.


  1. Fight, Flight, or Freeze. Educate! Educate! Educate! about short term benefits vs long term consequences of not facing anxiety.
  2. Generally need reassurance, accommodations, or avoidance. Don't decrease your child's anxiety by reassuring, accommodating, or avoiding.  If you do, make sure it is time sensitive.  Be more of a problem solver with your child than a fixer...."So what do you think are some options here?" 

parenting rules

  1. Expect your child to get anxious.  Celebrate your child getting anxious, because that is when the true work happens.
  2. Get out of the business of providing content to reassure, accommodate, and avoid the anxiety.  Don't make it better!  You can empathize with your child but be consistent that you will not "fix it" for them.
  3. Don't adjust the environment to control the environment of you child's struggles.
  4. Name and externalize the anxiety.  "It sounds like anxiety is showing up again, what do YOU think you should do about it?"
  5. Let your child be uncertain and uncomfortable.  This will help them build tolerance and skills to anxiety.
  6. Don't get overwhelmed by the consequences of your child being anxious.

Take Action

When your child is facing a challenge, have your child answer these questions to come up with a "Game Plan."

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Do you really want this goal?
  3. What skills do you need to reach your goal?
  4. What do you already know how to do that might help you reach this goal?
  5. What do you want to say to yourself when you start to worry?
  6. Are you will not to know exactly how things will turn out?
  7. Are you willing to feel physically uncomfortable along the way?
  8. What can you do to practice your skills?


  • Accept that worry will regularly show up and probably even hang around.  But it no longer needs to be the ruler of your family's world.

  • Understand anxiety's predictable attempts to control your family, and you have tools to push back against anxiety.
  • Continue to get good at learning how you and your child's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors play a role in better managing anxiety.
  • Role model how to be courageous and cope with challenges.

Week 3: Motivating Your Child to "Push Through" Anxiety

As a parent you have to learn what you can and can't control.  You can't make your child do anything, including "pushing through" anxiety.  You can only control how you respond to your child

What can I Do to encourage my child to push through anxiety?

  1. Present your case why you think your child should "push through" anxiety.
  2. Stop pushing out of emotion.  Get out of the power struggle. Be logical, diplomatic. 
  3. Stop assisting your child with managing anxiety.  Anxious kids generally want parent's reassurance, accommodations, or avoidance.  As a parent, your role is not to reassure, accommodate, or help your child avoid anxiety.  If you are doing any of these, then you are making it easier on your child and he/she will be less internally motivated to "push through" anxiety. Your child then will think "there's nothing wrong."
  4. Incentivize pushing through anxiety. 

Behavioral Modification Plan for "Meltdowns" When Anxious

Anxiety is not excuse for having a meltdown.

Consequences: Your child will “owe” you time.  Owing you time can include anything from chores to writing you a letter how your child will handle the situation differently next time.  Your child does not do anything “fun” (watch TV, video games, play with toys, etc) until ALL the time is owed back.  The goal of this is for your child to determine that he/she is giving self consequence and he/she does not have consequence if makes good choice.  It is very important to keep track of time in minutes and seconds and consequence be for exactly that amount of time.

Rewards:  Give "Random Rewards." A “Random Reward” is any reward you give your child when he/she doesn’t expect it.  Give Random Rewards to reinforce positive behaviors (i.e. putting shoes on without your help, smiling, etc.)  The main point of a Random Reward is to reward them randomly when they least expect it.  For example, “Wow you did such an awesome job this morning, lets celebrate and go get ice cream.” Rewards are not to be given on a schedule of “you do this, you get this.”

separating yourself from child's resistance to Push Through Anxiety

  1. Present your case why your child should "push through" anxiety.
  2. Focus on yourself.  Do things for yourself. You do you.
  3. Don't be tied to the rules of your child's anxiety.  Tell your child, "That sounds like anxiety."  I'm not giving into anxiety.


Sometimes all you can do as a parent is put what you think is "good" for your child in front of them.  Then you have to step back and see what "choices" he/she makes.  You maintain your expectations and boundaries regardless of your child's choices.  In the end, your child may/may not become more motivated to "push through" anxiety when he/she is personally impacted. just have to be "okay" with that ;)

Week 4: Putting it All Together

What I hope you've gotten out of this class are parenting ways to help your anxious child more toward courage and independence.

Traits of Courage and Independence

  • Your child feels assured in their problem-solving abilities
  • When they are frustrated by a mistake or an inadequacy, they sense that they can learn from addressing the problem.
  • Your child finds at least one or two areas where they experience mastery, giving them a sense of strength, value, and self-confidence.
  • They act because they are motivated to achieve from within, not because of expectations or demands of others.

Ultimate Goal

Every stage of child development comes with greater independence in the basic areas of living and less reliance on you as a parent. The process of your child getting older, developing, and separating from prepares your child for adulthood.  What can you do as a parent to support this courage and independence?

  • Giving your child love, respect, and guidance to find meaningful activities
  • Give your confidence in their abilities
  • Freedom to make their own decisions
  • Help your child feel courageous enough to take steps to face their fears


  1. Your child grows and changes.  Anxiety will show up and even hang around.  But it no longer needs to be the ruler of your family.
  2. Anxiety is predictable.  Anxiety tries to control your child's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  3. You are a role model for your child.
  4. Live in the uncertainty and uncomfortability.
  5. The way to manage anxiety is within rather than trying to control the environment or external factors.
  6. Be curious and available to talk.  Don't do it for them ;)  You want your role to change from coach to cheering from the sideline.
  7. Accept that you can't force your child to think, feel, or do anything.  Your child makes his/her own choices.  Use the Behavioral Modification Plan to support positive and negative choices.
  8. Understand that parenting is tough.  It is a long game.  Some days you will take steps forward and some days you will take steps backwards.  Being consistent and having a plan will help you love and get the most out of the relationship with your child regardless of his/her struggles ;)

Next Steps

  1. Nothing.  Just let it ride and see how it goes ;)
  2. Take some more LIVE or Recorded classes.  This class pairs well with School Refusal: Parents and Growth Mindset for Parents.
  3. Need more help than just a class?  Try the Monthly Club or Individual Therapy.
  4. Stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Monthly Club September.png




LIVE STUDENTS ONLY: You should have received an invite to join Basecamp. This is where we will communicate about the class ;)  Your classmates are also in Basecamp so feel free to connect with them.  Our hope is that Basecamp is the place you can go  between classes to get info, support, talk about how you are doing with the skills you're learning.

We highly encourage you download the Basecamp 3 app to your phone and computer.  The App will help you stay up to date with the class.  If you didn't receive a Basecamp invite or having trouble signing in, contact us below.

Continued Support

Do you want to connect with other people who may have similar struggles?  Wanting some extra resources between classes?  Join the Everyone Struggles closed Facebook Group.  This is the common place I encourage people to "hang out" between classes to get peer support and extra resources from me.  Hope to see you in the Everyone Struggles group soon ;) 


We believe social and emotional wellness can happen in many different ways.  We offer a variety of services for children, teens, and adults to help improve self-awareness and better manage social and emotional struggles.

We've designed our services to build off each other.  So what you learn in the classes will help you in the Monthly Club and the Monthly Club will put you that much further ahead in Individual Therapy.   You don't necessarily have to go in that order.  Just know, whatever level you begin, we'll help you build a good foundation of Cognitive Behavioral skills and cheer you on until you are rockin' it ;)

Let's stay connected

Social Media Pic.png

We would love to connect with you on social!  It's a great place to say hey and us to share some awesome resources.  Make sure you like, follow, and subscribe to @midwestanxiety on Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, Facebook, and YouTube. 

Limits and Restrictions:

The materials distributed are provided with the understanding that the author and presenters are not engaged in rendering professional services. This is a psychoeducational class and information in the presentations or group discussions by the presenters, facilitators, or participants should not be considered to be medical, psychological, legal, financial, or spiritual counsel. The presentations and written materials are not intended to provide medical, psychological, legal, financial, or spiritual services or counseling. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Any opinions, finding, recommendations or conclusions expressed by the author(s) or speaker(s) do not necessarily reflect the views of Midwest Anxiety, LLC.