Books in Review: Why Smart Kids Worry

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Children are worrying more than ever right now. Those with high intellects often seem to struggle the most. This can frustrate parents who know their children are smart…but can’t seem to stop worrying, no matter how many times their parents comfort them.

What are these children thinking?

And what can parents do to help?Synopsis

Why Smart Kids Worry is a book that helps parents and educators understand why “smart” children are often more worried than their peers.

Edwards begins by explaining what a “smart” kid actually constitutes. The intelligence valued at school doesn’t cover all of the different types of intelligence that exist. Effort and intelligence are often confused.

Parents and educators need to understand that children often have mental intelligence are higher than their emotional and physical ages. These children can often read into situations and find danger where their peers cannot. They’re not emotionally or physically old enough, however, to handle those stressors on their own.

Edwards not only provides insight into the way children think and perceive the world, thanks to her experience as a psychotherapist for children, she also provides a “toolbox” of techniques to help children learn to manage their anxiety on their own as they grow.

Great Writing

  • I was hooked from the very beginning of this book. Believe it or not, I learned a lot about myself as I read it (and I’m in my twenties). I went through a few years of being afraid of everything. From electrical fires in the walls to choking to losing our house, if you can name it, I was probably afraid of it at some point. Edwards does a fantastic job of explaining the though processes of children as they’re fighting these fears. Believe it or not, there’s a logical explanation for their seemingly illogical fears!
  • Edwards defines “smart” kids as being children who can take the information they’ve learned and bring it to the next level. This can be in any intelligence, such as art, math, science, to social situations. It turns our general acceptance of the word “smart” on its head.
  • Edwards explains how children can be imbalanced when it comes to physical, emotional, and intellectual maturity. This was a concept I hadn’t really thought of before, but it makes so much sense. Again, this was something I struggled with as a child.
  • Edwards gives real examples of common struggles children deal with. And she doesn’t mince words. She never promises a surefire way to solve a child’s anxiety, but she does offer hope and alternative ways to deal with certain kinds of anxiety.
  • One of my favorite parts of the book was the “toolbox” she included in the back. Not only does Edwards explain children’s anxiety, but she includes step-by-step ways to help children manage their own anxiety. Rather than fixing it all for them now, children benefit more in the long run if they learn to take charge of their own fear, bit by bit with the help of parents and other grownups in their lives.

Improvement Points

  • The only thing I wish this book had included would be a small mention of anxiety disorders. I think many “smart” children actually have anxiety disorders. It’s not a big objection though, as many of the techniques can still be quite helpful.

Parting ThoughtsI think every parent and teacher needs to read this book. Especially in this day of constant stimulation and news, children are more likely than ever to find reasons to fear. This books helps parents understand anxiety, set boundaries, and take steps to help children learn to manage their own thoughts and reactions to those thought. It’s decently quick read, and my copy has lots of highlighting! I highly recommend this book!

Have you read this book, or have comments you want to share? Please post your questions and comments in the Comment Box Below. We’d love to hear what you have to say! Also, don’t forget that I’ll be sharing more links than usual this week in my newsletter to help with planning a summer for children with Autism. As always, thanks for reading!

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