Please Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents

Please Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents

4.3 8
by Laurie E. Zelinger, Jordan Zelinger, Elisa Sabella

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What's happening to me?

This book translates anxiety from the jargon of psychology into concrete experiences that children can relate to.
Children and their parents will understand the biological and emotional components of anxiety responsible for the upsetting symptoms they experience. Please Explain Anxiety to Me gives accurate physiological


What's happening to me?

This book translates anxiety from the jargon of psychology into concrete experiences that children can relate to.
Children and their parents will understand the biological and emotional components of anxiety responsible for the upsetting symptoms they experience. Please Explain Anxiety to Me gives accurate physiological information in child friendly language. A colorful dinosaur story explains the link between brain and body functioning, followed by practical therapeutic techniques that children can use to help themselves. Children will:

  • learn that they can handle most issues if they are explained at their developmental level
  • understand the brain/body connection underlying anxiety
  • identify with the examples given
  • find comfort and reassurance in knowing that others have the same experience
  • be provided with strategies and ideas to help them change their anxiety responses
  • be able to enjoy childhood and to give up unnecessary worrying

    Therapists and Educators Praise "Please Explain Anxiety To Me"

    "On any given day, around thirty percent of my patients have anxiety related symptoms. The simplicity and completeness of the explanations and treatment of anxiety given in this book is remarkable. Defi ning the cause, treating the core symptoms, and most importantly bringing it to a child's level accompanied by wonderful illustrations, is an incredible feat. I will defi nitely use this book in my practice."

    Zev Ash, M.D. F.A.A.P., Pediatrician

    "Anxiety is, of course, a complicated neuro-physiological process but it has been reduced to understandable terms in this brilliantly illustrated book for children. I would go even further and say that there are adults who could benefit from the straightforward approach."

    Rick Ritter, MSW, author of "Coping with Physical Loss and Disability"

    "This excellent book is perfect for parents to read and discuss with their children. It's also perfect for school professionals to use in the school setting."

    Herb R. Brown, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools Oceanside Public Schools, New York

    "...A charming--and calming--explanation of anxiety that will help both children and their parents turn their internal worry switches to the OFF position."

    Ellen Singer, New York Times-acclaimed bestselling author

    Learn more at

    From the "Growing With Love" Series at Loving Healing Press

    SEL036000, Self-Help : Anxieties & Phobias

    PSY006000 Psychology : Psychotherapy - Child & Adolescent

    JNF053050 Juvenile Nonfiction : Social Issues - Emotions & Feelings

  • Editorial Reviews

    Laura Fabiani
    This is a comforting book, both for children and parents. The therapeutic strategies outlined are uncomplicated and effective, and at the end of the book are summarized in the form of rhymes to make them easy to remember. Best of all, this is an empowering book. Every parent should read it. It is an essential tool to explain what anxiety is to children but most importantly how to deal with it. Kudos to the Zelingers!
    Marissa Libbit
    "Please Explain `Anxiety' to Me" by Laurie Zelinger, PhD, and her son Jordan Zelinger is a children's book designed to help explain anxiety, or unnecessary worry, to children. Many children experience physical symptoms when they worry, and this book explains the physical reactions of the body during anxious moments. The book is also full of nice, colorful pictures to hold the interest of a child. I highly recommend "Please Explain Anxiety to Me."

    Product Details

    Loving Healing Press
    Publication date:
    Product dimensions:
    8.20(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

    Meet the Author

    Dr. Zelinger is a New York State Licensed Psychologist as well as a Certified School Psychologist in New York State, New York City, and New Jersey. She is also a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor of the Association for Play Therapy and in April 2009, was elected to the position of "Director" on the Board of Directors for the New York State branch of the organization. Dr. Zelinger has additional certification in the following areas: The Grieving Child Bereavement Certification, Banana Splits Divorce Program, Child Abuse Prevention, NYS OMRDD Behavior Management of Aggressive Clients, and in CPR (including updated re-certification). Dr. Zelinger recently completed certification as a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team Associate Volunteer.

    Since 1996, Dr. Zelinger has been a full-time School Psychologist with the Oceanside, NY Public Schools where she works with elementary students and provides supervision to graduate student interns from many local universities. In addition, she has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY where she treats children and their parents. Dr. Zelinger has held Adjunct Clinical Supervisor positions at Pace University's Psychological Services Department, St. John's University and NYU Department of Psychiatry.

    Dr. Zelinger's memberships in professional organizations have included the American Psychological Association, New York State Psychological Association, Nassau County Psychological Association, and Association for Play Therapy's National and New York State Divisions. In the New York State Psychological Association, her contributions have included service as Chair of the Task Force on Child and Adolescent Issues, Information Officer, Media Ambassador, and member of the Disaster Response Network. She is a Media Referral Service Ambassador for the American Psychological Association's Public Education Campaign. She also enjoys writing a column called, Grin and Share It, which she developed for the newsletter of New York State branch of the Association of Play Therapy. Dr. Zelinger and has held many volunteer educational and community service positions, including those as Co-chair of the Board of Education in a local school and Commissioner and coach of a community soccer league.

    Read more about her and her work at

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    Please Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
    Heavensent1 More than 1 year ago
    Please Explain "Anxiety" To Me! is a early reader for children explaining simple biology and solutions pertaining to anxiety. The book starts out with dinosaurs roaming the earth. There were many hardships to overcome to survive if you are a dinosaur. Things like the environment, food and predators can make a dinosaur worry. Over time the dinosaur develop their "instincts" and their reactions to certain situations. One of the reactions being discussed is anxiety. The book describes how our Amygdala (a mig' da la), registers and remembers how we react in certain situations and later, when we need that specific feeling, the Amygdala brings it back up again and has us react as we do. Sometimes our body tricks us and makes us think we are nervous, anxious or worried, when we're really not. There is a "switch" inside each of us being controlled by the Amygdala which determines how we react. When quick energy is needed for us to respond, this triggers our "Sympathetic Nervous System", which fuels us into action, sometimes having us do feats we would be unable to do otherwise. The book suggests that we become friends with our inner psyche, reassure it when it gets overactive, remind it that you have been in this situation before and you will respond appropriately. It also reminds you that you can talk to your parents, teacher, pastor, psychiatrist etc. to get the help you need to aid your anxiety fears. You can train your brain to react differently with simple techniques to help encourage it to respond with less indifference instead of over-reaction. I thought this book was a good early primer for your fussy/anxious child. The simple story is enough for young children to grasp its meaning and perhaps get something from its message. I liked how dinosaurs were introduced and all the problems that occurred to them in their every day lives. I thought that the explanations for the anxiety was explained easily so that your young person can follow and understand. I didn't think the graphics in the book were spectacular, they were simple enough in their depiction but lacked any "oomph" in their overall appearance, as well, the cover is nondescript and not very "eye-catching". I did like how they technical lingo of the psychology of the situation was explained well and simply. I enjoyed the biology of the book via the explanation on how the amygdala and the body work together. I didn't know that the amygdala stored so much information for later use, that was interesting to read. I thought the reinforcement that comfort can be found in the fact that no one is alone in their thoughts and feelings and many of us have the same reactions, reminding children to be children and allowing the adults to look after their needs. Overall, this would be a fairly decent book to help your young person understand their feelings, but I just thought there would have been more for the reader. The suggestions at the back of the book just wasn't what I had expected, I wanted a bit more from this book and found it lacking just a little. But as a 101 primer for the young, this book would be most excellent. Keeping copies of this in centers for children with psychological difficulties or in doctors offices would be beneficial.
    This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
    I like this book because it doesn’t just explain what to do about a problem kids have, it explains why it is happening. It shows there is something going on in our bodies that make us feel sick in the stomach or not wanting to do something. I like how the book also compares what happens when you feel anxiety to a light-switch. The illustrations are really cute and they go with the story magnificently. I love the cartoon-like feel to them. I think a lot of kids would get help from this book! *NOTE I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    onyx9 More than 1 year ago
    Ever wonder why we get nervous, worried, stressed, distressed or anxious? Most people do feel that way at some point, but it is not the same for everyone. For children it can be even more difficult to deal with and understanding the reason why may be the first step to helping them get through it. Identifying with a dinosaur, learning that they possibly had the same reactions to worries may help a child understand that they are not the only one. Learning the whys of anxiety are not enough, children and adults alike that suffer through this fear need a way to cope, something that can help them through the worst of the symptoms. Getting certain breathing techniques or exercises that can help to calm yourself may be enough, but knowing you have someone to go to can also help. *** In story book fashion, Laurie Zelinger , PhD breaks down the whys of anxiety in easy to understand ways. There are real psychological terminology used as well, but the words are explained in a concise and appropriate ways, and the word is also given phonetically to make the pronunciation easier to get. The large pictures make the dinosaur story feel like a regular picture story book. The story is worded so that it is easy to ask the questions like - "have you ever felt like that" several times which does make the comparison with the dinosaurs more realistic. The helpful suggestions for reducing anxiety and relieving some of the symptoms are easy to understand and feels more like a game than a calming tool, but if it works, even better. The closing rhymes are fun to say and fun to practice. All this information, so much of which was common since, the story was good but not great and the pictures were at times distracting from the "anxiety" topic of the book. Great concept to help children learn to cope with anxiety, I just expected and wanted more.
    NM_Stories-for-Children More than 1 year ago
    Synopsis: Dinosaurs reacted to their environment with anxiety. It was a way to alert them that they needed to fight or run away from danger. Today, we have the same reaction to stress but most of the time we aren't in peril like the dinosaurs were. So how do we deal with those feelings when there isn't a real emergency? According to the authors, "you can train your brain!" Simple rhymes are offered to help remember how to calm down. Overall thoughts: Dinosaurs have universal appeal to children. By choosing dinosaurs to explain anxiety, the authors have hooked their readers on page one. Further discussion of the biology and psychology of anxiety is explained in terms accessible to even preschool children without condescending. As the story concludes, four rhymes are presented to help remind an anxious mind to calm down. The authors also recommend that children re-read the book to determine which ideas will work best for each individual. In fact, Dr. Zelinger offers a letter of personal experience at the beginning of the book to let children know that she has felt the same things they have felt. In conclusion, a note to parents offers further resources to help children overcome struggles with anxiety issues. Sabella's illustrations are gentle yet accurately portray the emotions expressed in the text. The use of an on-off switch to depict the sympathetic nervous system is carried throughout the book-from the dinosaurs to the child who is working on the rhymes to train his or her brain. What a terrific visual for children who may not grasp the concept of changing thought patterns! As a parent of an anxious child, I immediately recognized the power of this book. The authors have offered personal experience, accessible explanations of the biologic response, and realistic exercises to overcome the feelings of anxiety. While I imagine the book was written for early elementary aged students, I believe it can be effective with preschoolers as well as older children. My child is a tween and I think she will benefit from the simple explanation of her anxiety as well as the rhymes to remind her to distract herself from her irrational thoughts.
    HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
    What, exactly, is anxiety? Do children have it? If so, what can they do about it? And what can adults do to help them with it? Authors Laurie Zelinger, who earned a Doctoral degree in psychology and is a certified school psychologist and a licensed private practice psychologist, and her son Jordan, who has earned a BS degree in neuroscience and is pursuing his doctoral degree in School-Clinical Child Psychology, describe what anxiety is, giving a simple biological explanation for what happens to cause it. They answer yes, children do have anxiety, and then offer solutions for both children and parents to help handle it, accompanied with kid-friendly illustrations by Elisa Sabella. We have a sympathetic nervous system that switches on when there's an emergency. Therefore, as the authors point out, anxiety can be good when we have just the right amount because it gives us energy to do our best and helps us to be aware of things around us. It's when we have too much anxiety and can't make it go away that problems arise. To assist children in coping when the anxiety switch goes on but there isn't an emergency, they offer several rhymes. For example, "Blow Slow!" teaches children how to breathe to calm down, and "Talk or Walk!" tells them that they can talk to an adult whom they trust or find something different to do that will distract them. Please Explain "Anxiety" to Me would be beneficial for anyone, but it will be an especially useful resource for parents of children who have problems with anxiety.
    LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
    I was eager to get this book for review and happy that I did. Dr. Laurie Zelinger and son Jordan Zelinger have managed to explain the biological reasons for anxiety in such a simple way that my young children easily understood it. My 6-year-old son and even my daughter loved the use of dinosaurs in the explanation, and I thought the comparison to a switch turning on and off was brilliant. The illustrations are also simple, colourful and age-appropriate. This is a comforting book, both for children and parents. The therapeutic strategies outlined are uncomplicated and effective, and at the end of the book are summarized in the form of rhymes to make them easy to remember. My children quickly associated with some of the situations that can cause anxiety. It made them realize that they are not the only ones to feel that way at times. Throughout the days after I read them this book, my children on different occasions have said to me, "Mom, my switch is on." I quickly understood what they meant and was happy they recognized how they were feeling. I asked them if they remembered what they could do to alleviate the feeling of anxiety and they did and put some of those solutions to practice. Best of all, this is an empowering book. Every parent should read it. It is an essential tool to explain what anxiety is to children but most importantly how to deal with it. And in a society where the medical community tends to overmedicate patients, including children, I cannot stress how good it is to read a book to my children that shows them how they can control how they feel. Kudos to the Zelingers!