Home > Kids > Behavior and Discipline > Behavioral Problems > Anxiety > Behavior Makeover: Anxiety

Behavior Makeover: Anxiety

Behavior Makeover Plan
What kind of life have you created for your child? For instance, do you expect him to excel academically, athletically, artistically, or all the above? Do you expect him to have the most playing time on the field? Do you expect him to have the highest scores on standardized tests? Think how much pressure you're putting on your kid. Is it healthy? What can you do to lighten the pressure before it explodes? What will you do? Write a plan.

Now it's time to take action to begin making over your kid's behavior. Use your Makeover Journal to write down your thoughts and develop your plan.

  1. Watch your child a bit closer over the next few days for anxiety. Signs of overload can include a change in sleep patterns, refusal to eat, moodiness, recurring physical ailments, trouble concentrating, restlessness, social withdrawal, nail biting, acting out, aggression, regression to baby-like behavior, nausea, excessive whining, or crying. What signs concern you? List them.

  2. Notice what kinds of situations create the most anxiety for him. For instance, is it school violence in the next community, bullying, an upcoming test, world events? List them.

  3. What can you to reduce his anxiety? For example, if you determine there's a serious physical threat to his safety, should you move him to a different school? If test taking causes stress because she thinks she'll fail, talk to her teacher, hire a tutor, or help her study. Make an action plan, and then act on it.

  4. David Elkind, author of The Hurried Child, says one of the easiest ways to reduce stress is by cutting out just one extra activity. If overscheduling is producing stress, decide with your child which activity you will cut. When will you do it?

  5. Review Step Four, and decide which one you think will work best with your child. Then rehearse and practice the strategy with your child until she can remember to use the technique during a stressful time.

  6. Continue to keep a close watch on your child's stress level. If you don't see change, check with a trained professional.


From No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2003 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.



Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!