KITTERY, Maine – The Kittery Youth Committee will present social worker and author Lynn Lyons of Concord, N.H. in the Star Theatre at the Kittery Community Center, on March 27 for parents and their adolescent students.
Lyons’ presentation will stem from her book “Anxious Kids Anxious Parents,” to help both parents and students to come up with strategies to better emotionally equip adolescents when anxiety arises. She said anxiety is a normal feeling for students, especially adolescents, because of the academic, athletic and social pressures they face in high school and later applying to college.
“We are working to promote strategies to teach kids how to deal with worry so that we promote independence, rather than accommodating anxiety,” said Lyons, a licensed independent clinical social worker who operates a practice in Concord.
According to Lyons, a lot of the anxiety that manifests itself in teenagers today traces back to parents fostering a culture in which kids feel safe and certain stemming from the self-esteem movement in the mid 1970’s. She said today in the post-Sept. 11 attack world, parents feel pressure to ensure their children’s safety and that technology has enabled parents to observe all of the horrible mental and physical trauma children everywhere endure.
Lyons said this in turn has fostered a culture where some parents have not taught children how to manage life’s uncertainty.
“There is a large generation of kids who are emotionally ill-equipped to deal with uncertainty. When something happens, then everything falls apart when they go to college or experience a major stressor in the real world,” said Lyons. “Untreated anxiety disorder in a child is a top indicator of depression in adulthood. However, it is totally treatable and interruptible.”
Lyons said this is mitigated by refocusing on the process of modeling flexibility and learning to cope with uncertainty.