This week I’m talking to the author of the new book When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids, which seems like the exact right book for this exact time in the world.

I wanted to have a very practical and helpful conversation about how to handle those sometimes difficult but important conversations we are all no doubt having more than usual right now with our kids—or are perhaps wanting to have but don’t know where to start or what to say. Because we as parents and caregivers often have our own emotions and anxiety surrounding scary, uncertain, and unsettling current events, making it really difficult to know how to both broach and BE in these conversations with our kids.

That’s why I’m so happy to bring to the show Dr. Abigail Gewirtz, a child psychologist, mother of four, and a leading expert on families under stress. I was able to preview a copy of her book, and I can tell you it is truly full of examples of essential conversationsas in actual scripts with dialogue, talking points, and prompts that are age-appropriate and centered around different issues, as well as insights into the way children react to stress, and how parents can read the signs.

In our conversation, Dr. Gewirtz explains the reasons why it’s essential to have these conversations, how to make sure our own anxiety doesn’t get in the way, and what simple thing to do each day to facilitate more open and helpful conversations on a regular basis. 


About Dr. Gewirtz: Dr. Abigail Gewirtz is a child psychologist and professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development (ranked the world’s third-leading institution of its kind). Her career has been devoted to developing and testing award-winning, skills-based parenting programs to promote children’s resilience. 

Dr. Gewirtz has consulted for and presented to national and international organizations, including the US Congress and UNICEF, on parenting. She has conducted research in the US, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, and has been invited to speak throughout the world on parenting in times of stress. 



  • What prompted Dr. Gewirtz to write this book 
  • What is a parent’s role in shaping their child’s POV,  and why is it essential to have these conversations
  • What are the three questions parents should ask themselves when they’re looking to have a conversation about a difficult topic or event with their child
  • How did Dr Gewirtz decide the particular topics to include in her book
  • What to consider when talking to kids of different ages
  • What are the common stumbling blocks parents face when talking about difficult things



  • Dr. Nancy Eisenberg




Read through the whole episode!






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