Reviewed by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Note: A new addition of this book was published in 2016.
Over the course of her career, Dr. Bonnie Zucker has helped hundreds of children overcome their anxiety by using a program she developed based on cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which she teaches coping skills, methods for facing fears and challenging 'faulty thinking.' Drawing from over ten years of practice experience, Dr. Zucker shares her approach in her book Anxiety-Free Kids: An Interactive Guide for Parents and Children.
Anxiety-Free Kids: An Interactive Guide for Parents and Children is a strong addition to the Prufrock Press family as it is a must read for parents of gifted children dealing with anxiety. It is published in a unique companion-book format which offers both an informational component for parents and a workbook for kids that are designed to be read simultaneously and promote working as a team. Dr. Zucker’s passion for helping children with anxiety disorders is obvious throughout Anxiety-Free Kids. Her professional, yet warm and personal tone, help to make the book an easy read as it is all written in a language that is easy to understand.
The user-friendly parent section begins by providing an overview of different types of anxiety, its symptoms, and an explanation of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Its chapters continue, covering goal setting, relaxation, worries, changing thoughts and behaviors, stress management, and positive self-talk. The parents’ guide closes with a piece on motivation, a special section offering additional information and strategies for specific kinds of anxiety, as well as a list of pertinent resources and organizations.
The kids’ guide opens with a warm welcome that clearly explains the book’s purpose and the desired outcome; however, it may seem a bit juvenile to older students as Dr. Zucker explains her Psy.D. title and what it means to go to therapy. The chapters mirror the parent section’s content and exercises and key terms are italicized throughout to draw attention to important vocabulary. The kids’ section is printed on perforated pages to allow for concurrent reading and completion of activities.
Together, the parent and child portions of Anxiety-Free Kids create a practical tool with helpful information, useful strategies and techniques, and exercises that are simple to understand and applicable in a variety of settings.
Anxiety-Free Kids’ provides a proactive, detailed plan that allows parents and children to work together to overcome anxiety and is a must read for any family whose child deals with anxiety.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness. Use of such information is at the sole risk of the reader.