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Managing Big Feelings and Anxiety

This is a small sample of the vast world of resources out there. Take in what feels good, leave the rest.


  • Simply put - the most important thing you can do to help manage your young person’s feelings is to manage your own. Anxiety is contagious; calm is contagious. You can’t expect your young person to ride the wave of their feelings if you can’t do that either. Learning how to sit in emotions and resist the urge to numb, distance, or fix them is a lifelong gift you can give to your young person.

  • This may look like personal therapy, connecting with other parents, therapy with your partner/co-parent, meditation, exercise, saying ‘no’ more, journaling, maintaining social connections, mindfulness, breathing exercises, examining your own childhood, examining emotionality in your family of origin, letting go of all being the “perfect” parent or having the “perfect” young person...


We have many of these for check-out in our parent library, ask a facilitator. If purchasing your own copy, we encourage buying from our Germantown neighbor Uncle Bobbie’s. The Free Library has all of these too.

  • The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Dr. Elaine Aron (for adults)

  • The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them by Dr. Elaine Aron

  • The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.

  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish (a gold standard of parenting books)

  • Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham

  • Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

  • A Little SPOT of Anxiety: A Story About Calming Your Worries by Diane Alber (for young people - part of a larger series that Group 1 facilitators have been using)


"Dr. Becky Doesn’t Think the Goal of Parenting Is to Make Your Kid Happy" - The New York Times 11/14/2021.pdf

"The Science Behind Your Child’s Tantrums" - The New York Times - Oct 2020.pdf


  • Search any of the authors above and you’ll find episodes featuring them

  • "Lightening Love and Not Calming Down" episode of We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle (episode 23; 30:00-onward) - The last 15 minutes of this episode are about how to respond to a big upset from a highly sensitive child. I found it helpful, perhaps you will too.

Websites/Social Media


General Resources

  • Other parents - You are in a community of others figuring this weird world out - no need to stand alone in the storm. Tess can connect you to specific parents if you’re not sure who to talk to.

  • Council for Relationships - Mental health agency in Philadelphia/suburbs. Through a partnership with NC, CFR is offering up to 12 free sessions for NC families (parents, young people, couples, family). If seeking longer-term therapy after 12 sessions, you can discuss using insurance or sliding scale with the therapist. Talk to Tess to set this up.

  • Process: Contact Tess about wanting a referral → Tess connects you to CFR intake coordinator → Matches you with therapist (depending on speciality, availability) → Accept/adjust match → Therapy begins

  • Your continuous development of emotional intelligence - Woops, I mentioned that one already!

Tess is especially interested in sharing more resources by BIPOC parenting experts. Please pass along if you got ‘em.

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