Anyone else out there remember being a worrier as a kid? 🙋♀️ I hadn’t really thought about it before, but this conversation with Sissy Goff helped me better understand childhood worriers — myself included.
Friends, I am so happy to get to share this conversation with you! Sissy Goff has authored many books (a few of my favorites listed in notes, below) and she is the Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries. Recently, Sissy wrote a book called “Raising Worry-Free Girls” (with a companion guide for the girls — also listed below) that helped me understand my own childhood tummy aches 😉, and I believe offers great help for parenting girls and boys in this time of pandemic and so much chaos in our world.
I’ve heard from a lot of parents who are trying to help their kids cope during such uncertain times. Kids who have questions, who are fearful, and who worry. If you have a child like this, I think this interview will offer some truly practical ideas for helping your child cope, and grow stronger through the trials. (See a few of Sissy’s practical suggestions in the notes below!)
Sissy’s Website: Raising Boys and Girls.
Raising Boys and Girls on Instagram
Sissy Goff on Instagram
Raising Worry-Free Girls: Helping your daughter feel braver, stronger, and smarter in an anxious world. – Sissy’s recent book (good for parenting boys, too):
Braver, Stronger, Smarter: A girl’s guide to overcoming worry and anxiety. (Sissy’s companion book for the girls.)
A couple books I have loved that Sissy co-authored with David Thomas:
Are my Kids on Track: The 12 Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach (with David Thomas and Melissa Trevathan.)
Intentional Parenting: Autopilot is for Planes. (also with David Thomas and Melissa Trevathan.)
Sissy’s 3 Steps for Helping an Anxious Child
- Focus on breathing. Have child use their finger to draw a square on their leg. With each line is an inhale or exhale, then pause at the corner before the next line. (Navy Seals call this “Combat breathing”!) Twenty second of that will reset the brain and allow blood flow to go back to Prefrontal Cortex so kids can think rationally again.
- Use a “Grounding” technique. Get the senses involved, using 5,4,3,2,1 Think of 5 things you see…4 things you hear…3 things you feel…2 things you smell…and 1 thing you taste. (or any order is fine! :)) You can also use math problems (counting backward from 100, for example) or practice Scripture memory verses. The point is to redirect the thoughts and regain control. This “pulls them out of the loop.”
- Teach kids to “boss back” their worry. Kids might want to name their worry (“the worry monster” is often helpful) and learn to speak truth back to their fears and anxieties. As thoughts come, kids can learn to speak up: “You are wrong!” and speak truth to themselves. Kids learn that they are stronger than their fear.
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A BIG THANK YOU to this episode’s SPONSOR, PREP DISH!
Prep Dish makes meal planning easy, and FUN!! (also healthy and delicious!) If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend!
When you sign up with Prep Dish, you’ll receive an email every week with a done-for-you grocery list and instructions for prepping your meals ahead of time. You’ll do your chopping and mixing ahead of time, leaving you with zero decisions to be made at dinner. Woohoo.
NOTE: You can get a free 2-week trial by going to PrepDish.com/boymom! Also, take note: Prep Dish has gluten free, Paleo & Keto options!!
What I’m looking forward to on this week’s (Gluten Free) meal plan:
- Balsamic Chicken w/ Butternut Squash, Cherry & Walnut Quinoa Pilaf (YUM!!)
- Spaghetti Squash Stuffed w/ Black Beans & Veggies 🍝
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie 🎃
- Dessert: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars 🎃 🍫!!!
*grabbed this photo ^ from the Prepdish Instagram feed but trust me I’ll be making these this week!
More about Sissy:
SISSY GOFF, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP is the Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee, where she works alongside her counseling assistant/pet therapist, Lucy the Havanese. Since 1993, she has been helping girls and their parents find confidence in who they are and hope in who God is making them to be, both as individuals and families. Sissy is a sought-after speaker for parenting events and the author of twelve books, including the bestselling Raising Worry-Free Girls and Braver, Stronger, Smarter (for elementary aged girls) and her soon to be released book for teenage girls, Brave. Sissy is a regular contributor to various podcasts and publications including FoxNews.com, as well as her own podcast called Raising Boys and Girls. You can find more information and resources at raisingboysandgirls.com.
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My book, BOY MOM, was released in August of 2019 (Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers) and is full of practical advice and helpful resources for raising boys. It’s a great study for small groups!
Order it here: Boy Mom: What Your Son Needs Most from You
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