cover image Why Smart Kids Worry: 
And What Parents Can Do to Help

Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help

Allison Edwards. Sourcebooks, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-4022-8425-0

Therapist Edwards brings profound insight into the minds of gifted, anxious children in this parent-friendly handbook which combines explanations for odd behaviors with practical tools for helping children navigate their fears, learn self-soothing techniques, and learn to function in a scary world. She explains the asynchronous development of smart kids, in which intellectual ability exceeds physical age, while emotional maturity tracks physical age or lags behind it, leaving children who take a concrete, literal understanding of what they see, hear, and learn, and expand it through higher-level thought processes into fears about topics like death, finances, terrorism, and natural disasters. She advises parents to direct their children away from the triggers of tough topics in family discussions and from the media, giving them only the information that directly affects them, and redirecting their craving for intellectual stimulation into less emotionally charged projects. Fifteen tools for parents and children to use together—like “Square Breathing,” “Worry Time,” and “Naming the Anxiety,” which include explanations of when to use the tool, why it works, how to implement it, and what to expect in response—offer practical approaches to teaching coping skills and emotional competence, and will work well for any child with anxiety. Parents will be comforted by Edwards’s analysis, which frames children’s worrying as a manageable challenge. Agent: Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli, Jet Literary Associates. (Sept.)