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Children with OCD and anxiety need their parents to understand that they feel terrified. They need their parents to express confidence in their ability to face their fears. What they don’t need is for their parents to do everything for them when they’re afraid because over time, they will need to learn how to deal with their fears when their parents aren’t around.

Dr. Lebowitz’s book, Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD: A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents, provides a roadmap for how parents can successfully guide their children to overcome their fears. The way parents accommodate their own OCD, severe anxiety or phobias can have an extremely negative impact on their children. Many people use rituals for years and do not seek therapy until they see what their habits are doing to their children.

The difference between a quirk and a disorder has to do with how much of a negative impact the particular way you want to do things has on your life.A child not attending school because of their fears, someone is unable to sleep or eat, behaviors which strongly affect relationships are generally examples of a disorder. Getting help with problems causing smaller amounts of distress will improve your current life and may prevent the quirks from developing into disorders

According to Dr. Lebowitz’s research, the best way to respond to a child who is experiencing anxiety is to first validate their experience and provide confidence. If your child is experiencing a full-blown panic attack, there’s not much to do, except wait it out and remain calm.

Children who grew up without any serious anxiety and suddenly develops a very intense fear, often had a traumatic experience that will require more support and a different kind of therapy. Try to become aware of periodic anxiety before they culminate into a larger event.

At the end of this episode, Matana continues her conversation asking Dr. Lebowitz personal questions of experiences in Matana’s life and with her children, and received priceless and life changing advice. Initially priced as a limited time offer for the first week discounted price of $4.99 and then $9.99, this content will available exclusively as premium content here:

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Connect with Dr. Lebowitz

Amazon Book: Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD:



  • “One child can suffer and a whole family could fall apart just because there’s not enough awareness of how to support that one child.” @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge
  • “Parents, you’re like a mirror, and your child is looking in the mirror and they’re seeing who they are from your reactions, from your responses. And if what they see reflected back to them is a child who’s always weak, vulnerable, helpless, overwhelmed, can’t cope, can’t deal, what are they going to believe about themselves? Exactly. That’s right. They’re going to see themselves as unable to stand anxiety. And that is pretty much the worst thing for an anxious child to believe about themselves.” @MatanaJacobs @EliLebowitz #HopetoRecharge
  • “Here’s what I’ll say about [your kid having] panic attacks… Stay calm… When that plane is bumping around, you’re gripping the arm rest, and your knuckles are white and your belly is tightened – in that moment, you don’t want to look over at the flight crew and see them freaked out… You wanna see them being normal.” @MatanaJacobs @EliLebowitz #HopetoRecharge
  • “Panic attacks are not dangerous.” @MatanaJacobs @EliLebowitz #HopetoRecharge
  • “Your child is scared at night. So you sleep next to them. They feel better in that moment. Of course they do. But tomorrow, do they feel like they can handle being alone? No.” @MatanaJacobs @EliLebowitz #HopetoRecharge


Topics Discussed

  • The impact parents’ OCD has on their children
  • The difference between a quirk and a disorder
  • Childhood OCD
  • Childhood anxiety
  • Recipe for a supportive response to your child
  • OCD from trauma


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