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Anxious Kids

With special guest:

  • Michael Grose
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Michael Grose and his co-author Dr Jodi Richardson are often asked when making parenting presentations if there is an epidemic of anxiety among our young people. If you were asked the same question you might immediately say yes but before he answers that question for us in today’s program, we ask our guest what it is exactly that we are talking about. Is anxiety the same as depression? Is anxiety built into us? When does it become harmful? What can we do about it?

In his book Anxious Kids: How children can turn their anxiety into resilience, Michael Grose speaks from his own first-hand knowledge as well as his professional qualifications and wide experience. Michael tells us that parents can learn how to recognise anxiety in their children. Recognition is a first and necessary step and parents are best placed to do so although that closeness brings with it responsibility because anxiety runs in families.

If a parent demonstrates to a child, even unconsciously, that the way to deal with any threat is fight or flight then this lesson will be observed and absorbed. Michael tells us that this approach was useful in the early days of the human species but different approaches are now required. Parents are unlikely to have to defend a child against a snake in their path but adults may have to make a speech at a wedding. If the same avoidance approach is adopted when facing this other type of threat then the problem is not being solved and the child observing this behaviour will think this is the appropriate response. Worse still the fight or flight response may not automatically turn off when the threat is removed thereby leaving the body in a heightened state of awareness with physical consequences.

In our conversation today Michael Grose gives lots of sound advice on a range of steps parents can take to develop thinking skills and emotional intelligence in their children. Parents can learn how to promote tolerance of discomfort and develop resilience as a pathway to flourishing mental health. Along the way we talk about mindfulness and the way this is being adopted by schools around the country. Listening to this show will make you realise why Michael Grose is so highly regarded as one of Australia’s leading parenting writers and speakers.

Michael Grose

Michael Grose has an educational background with a Master’s degree in Educational Studies. He has been a regular contributor to Australian media for over a decade with regular appearances on The Today Show, The Circle, The Project and many others. He is the author of eleven books for parents, including the best-selling Why First Borns Rule the World, which has sold more than 23,000 copies. Michael is the founder of Parenting Ideas and he currently supports over 1500 schools in Australia and internationally to build strong partnerships with their parent communities.

Michael was recently elevated to the PSA Speaker Hall of Fame when he won the Educator Award for Excellence. He was the first person to conduct a parenting seminar for a nation’s leaders when he ventured into Parliament House, Canberra, in 2004 and addressed politicians on both sides of the political fence about how to behave so your children will too!

For more information and practical ideas on parenting visit his website:

Song selection by our guest: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

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