by Katherine Martinko
Parenting styles continue to be widely researched, hotly debated and rigorously analyzed the world over. Cultural differences, lived experience, personal preference and other factors can shape if or when a particular approach to parenting is adopted or practiced, if ever.
Diana Baumrind, an American clinical and developmental psychologist was the architect of parenting styles in the 1960’s, introducing “three parenting styles to describe differences in normal parenting behaviours: the authoritarian, authoritative and permissive parenting style.”
A decade earlier, British psychologist and psychiatrist John Bowlby, identified attachment theory, defined by three attachment styles:
secure, anxious-resistant, avoidant. Researchers would later add a fourth attachment style — disorganized-disoriented.
That brings us to anxiety styles.
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Welcome to where parents talk. My name is Lianne Castelino. Our guest today is a licensed marriage and family therapist, an MBA and a best selling author. Amber Trueblood has also more than 25 years of experience in the mental health space. She is the co founder of the Mecca project aimed at helping teens and young adults thrive. Mecca stands for mentally and emotionally through conscious awareness. Amber is also a mother of four. Her second book is called The unflustered Mom, how understanding the five anxiety styles transforms the way we parent partner live and love. Amber Trueblood joins us today from San Diego. Thank you so much for being here.
Thank you so much for having me. Lianne. I am excited to dig in and hopefully provide some really interesting and also useful strategies for your listeners. Well,
it’s such an interesting topic, I’m not sure how many people in our audience would be familiar with anxiety styles, versus what many of us know, our parenting style. So let’s start off with what is an anxiety style?
Yeah, that’s a great question. So it is a framework that I present in the book in the unflustered mom. And there are five anxiety styles. So there’s the lover, the fighter, the executive, the dynamo, and the visionary. And each of these has different core triggers, right core values, rather, and then emotional triggers. So what may cause anxiety for you, Leanne may not cause anxiety for your husband, or for your mother in law or for your neighbor, your best friend, right. And so what triggers us is different. And because of that, we’re going to have different reactions to whatever challenges come up in our lives. And then we’re going to have different strategies that are going to be far more likely to help you then might help somebody with a different anxiety style. So the reason that these can be useful to know and understand about yourself and about the other people close in your life is so that you can better acknowledge when you’re being emotionally triggered, right? And then you are more likely to utilize the tools that are most likely to help you manage through it so that you can feel better sooner.
It makes perfect sense as you describe it. So then how does one determine what their anxiety style actually is?
Okay, so I have a quiz for that. And I’ll, I’ll describe them here, we can go through a little bit. But if you want to dig deeper, the quiz is at flourish quiz.com. And the reason I call it flourish is, you know, anxiety has kind of a negative connotation, obviously. So each of these styles, it’s not a negative thing, or positive thing, it really is, when this anxiety style is not serving you, when you’re not behaving acting, making decisions from your core values, basically, then it can create anxiety and overwhelm. And when you are really aligned and very intuitive and understanding where you’re coming from and what your needs are, that’s where you’re going to flourish. So it’s kind of the flip side to the same coin, where it’s working well for you. It’s a flourish style. And where it’s not, it becomes your anxiety style. But either way, you’re a lover, right. So if you are, for instance, so lovers really are all about their, their connections with the people that they care about in their life. And they want to feel acknowledged, they want to feel loved, they want to feel appreciated, they want to feel like the people around me want to spend time with me. So when that is happening, oh my gosh, you’re just filled up as a lover, you’re flying high, you are fulfilled emotionally and deeply, you become more emotionally resilient, and able to deal with any other things that come in your life, because that feels really solid to you. When it’s not happening, right? Or when all of a sudden you’re you’re spiraling because maybe you see a bunch of your colleagues or your girlfriend’s got together and didn’t invite you. Oh my gosh, then you might be thinking, Well, what, are they mad at me? Are they talking about me? Did I do something to upset one of my kids do something to one of their kids, you know, and your brain can start spiraling? So as a lover, the tactics and strategies that I recommend for them to reduce stress and anxiety in their life is a way to begin to move your sense of self worth from the actions and behavior of others to how you feel about yourself because at the end of the day, unfortunately you’re not we can’t control how other what people do or, or what they say about us? And the truth is, most of the time, it’s not about us anyway. Right? But we assume Right? Like, oh, gosh, you know, it’s, it’s something about us they don’t like when really chances are, it could be a million other things. But as lovers, that’s often that’s a tender spot for lovers, right? So the strategies that I have around lovers is really building that sense of self worth from within. So that you can still really show up and be the person you want to be in your relationships with others. But your your happiness is not dependent on that. Does that make sense?
It does, it does. And you know, what I find really interesting about this topic is sort of the discourse in society around us being more in touch with our emotions that we hear about more and more, I would say, in recent years, certainly, you know, emotional intelligence, you know, with kids, especially having them be in touch with their emotions, adults, having themselves be in touch with emotions, and not being afraid to share that with their kids. So the timing of what you’re talking about in your book I find particularly resonant. So on that note, yeah, how can we apply anxiety styles once we know what they are for each individual? Yes, you are parenting style?
Okay, well, I mean, there’s really what I want for anxiety styles to do for parents is give them a really, really strong toolbox to use both preventatively. So here are some strategies. In the book, I break it down for each anxiety style, what you can do on a daily basis, on a weekly basis, even once a year, there’s a deep dive activity for each anxiety style. And that is set so that you can on a regular basis, be doing practices that raise what I call your emotional bank account, right? Because the more we’re really fueling ourselves in a way that’s important to us, right? In a way that is really important to us. And is not just this kind of surface self care, which can be lovely in the moment, but it’s not necessarily enduring. When we’re doing that, we’re far more likely to be able to make decisions more clearly, right, we’re able to concentrate on anything that we’re doing, right? Whether that’s work, or spending time with our family, we’re going to be likely to have more patience. Right. So all of that is going to improve your ability to parent and show up as a parent in the way you want to show up. Right. So when you are preventatively, doing things every day to quote, fill your cup or fill your emotional bank account, you’re going to be more patient more kind, more flexible, more understanding, more articulate, more able to switch gears, more able to create boundaries, that are, you know, boundaries and rules or, or, you know, whatever it is that you’re trying to instill in your family, and be really super clear about it. Right and not waffle, right. And that’s what I think children need, right? They want to know that you know what you’re doing? Because otherwise, it’s scary. And of course, nobody, there’s no right and wrong answer. You know, we’re all doing the best we can at any given moment. And then I have in the moment strategies because there’s things you could have your highest emotional bank account ever. And still stuff is going to happen that’s going to cause you to fluster, you know, to feel flustered, you’re going to It’s inevitable because you’re human, and you’re living a human existence amongst other humans and things happen, right? So it’s not that you’re never going to ever be flustered. It’s that when these inevitable bumps and jumps and dips come in front of you in your life, that you have the tools at your disposal to deal with those in the moment. And so I I love to collect tools to create tools and to test them myself. And and then share them with people. And I walk people through what’s called an emotional emergency support plan, so that they choose the three best one minute strategies, like literally one minute, these take one minute. Most of them are kind of brain hacks, and I can share a couple of those with you and your listeners if you’d like. And then some are 10 minute strategies. And then some are 30 minute strategies. And so when I have somebody make their ESP, they choose ahead of time when you’re feeling good. When you have the energy you choose it and then you put it on your phone, you put it on your wall, you put it in your wallet, and when you are feeling oh my gosh, I’m so anxious right now or I’m so frustrated or I’m so mad or I’m just oh my gosh, I have no patience right now. I’m just ready to lose my ass. Okay, I’m gonna look at that. How much time do I have? I have 15 minutes till I have to go pick up the kids. All right, I’ll do pick one of the 10 Minute As strategies and you do it. So that’s how I want anxiety styles to work for parents to really give you the confidence that you’re armed with the tools that actually work for you to get back on the saddle again and feel good and not like, Oh God, I have four more hours until bedtime to do this.
I’ve never thought that Amber amber in my entire career was. So this pouring Chardonnay for 15? Me? No, let me ask you this. You’ve got four kids of your own? What was the catalyst for you to want to write this book and then to go ahead and do it?
Well, I love learning. And I love books, I’m obsessed with books, and they just bring me so much joy. And so I, I always encourage people, like, I have clients of ours and encourage them, like, you know, how you love to consume information is sometimes exactly the right way that you want to share the information, right? Because that’s the platform that you use most. So I love books. So I immediately was like, Well, I want to write a book, you know, that’s how I want to help people. And then I wrote my first book, which was called stretch marks. And I realized, Oh, can’t really just write a book these days, you have to have a podcast, and you have to have a website, and you have to have courses, you have to do all these other things. So I was like, Okay, I guess I’m doing all these other things. So I did all those other things. And then in March of 2020, when the planet was at kind of an all time state of of confusion and disarray, and I saw families becoming really agitated with one another, I saw communities becoming really agitated with each other countries, obviously. And, you know, I sat back and I thought, wow, like, we’re all reacting so differently to presumably similar, you know, challenges. And instead of coming together, we seem to be coming apart. What’s happening? Why is this happening? And so, you know, I looked at it from a number of different angles. And that’s where really the birth of the anxiety styles came from, as I thought, Oh, we have different kinds of core emotional triggers. And that’s what is informing our reaction? And how can we help to kind of reconnect with these people that we’ve feel so disconnected from, you know, there are people who are like, I’ve known you for 20 years, like, who are you? I don’t understand how you’re reacting this way. And I’m reacting that way. And people were just baffled, and myself included. And so I thought, you know, what, if there was a framework, where we could use it, to understand ourselves and understand the people around us, and might, that elicit some self compassion, elicit some compassion for others, and be the bridge that allows us to communicate a little bit more effectively with the people around us. So that’s, that’s really where it came from. And then, you know, was about three years, three months in the making of, you know, writing it and rewriting it and research and talking about it and, and flushing it out. So that it could be the most helpful version, because a framework is all interesting. But to me, I’m all about, well, what do you do about it? Like, what do I do tonight at dinner differently? Knowing that I’m a dynamo? Okay, great. Now I know, I’m a dynamo, I have a label. Now what? So I wanted it to be really, really full of, here’s now what, and here’s how you can take responsibility in that to choose the best path for yourself. And so I talk about motivational styles. In the book, I talk about something called Super senses, which is another way to help figure out what type of strategies are more likely to work for you. So there are people that are more triggered by sense, like smells than other people, some people are more auditory, some people are more tactile, you can use that to your advantage, right? In a very simple, simple way. And because, like you said, because I have four children, I’m, I’m all about like, quick, effective results with the least amount of work or concentration or time or planning as possible. And so the strategies that I share are often that, you know, it says It’s as quick and realistic as possible, because, you know, I want parents to actually use them and see the benefits as as quickly as possible.
So, building on that point, your target audience with this book is moms. You have mom in the title, but certainly it is applicable to far more than just the mother. Although moms will definitely just based on the description that you just provided out Absolutely many of them would relate to what you just shared. So you know why mothers?
Well, because marketing is what I’m going to say. Because really the publishing companies are like you can’t you know, unless you’re some giant household name like Oprah can write a book, like, everybody who ever feels anxious, overwhelmed, should read this book. And everybody be like, Oh, my gosh, Oprah wrote a book like this, I’m gonna read it. When your name is Amber Trueblood, you know, LMFT, MBA mom of four. It’s almost better if you say, hey, left handed moms with four kids who live in Southern California should read this book. And people are like, Oh, my gosh, I’m a left handed mom of four. So, you know, they really wanted me to be specific. And because the personal stories I talk about in the book are mom related, because that’s what causes most of my stress and anxiety. And because of that, they were like, we have to have balm in the title. The truth is, is that it’s it’s not just for moms, I really believe that it can be helpful to anybody who has a history of putting others needs before their own. Right. And anybody who has stress or anxiety in our life, and the second book in the series, just got greenlit, and that’s going to be called the unflustered family.
Thank you. Thank you. It’s very exciting. It is.
So when you talk about mothers, though, you know, there are things that moms experienced that the dads just don’t experience or other members of the family don’t experience. So, you know, the intention in targeting that specific audience is deliberate. Right? And so sure, go take us through why you think it’s important to write a book like this on this topic at this time, targeting moms.
Okay, well, so, you know, I’m, I’m an impact maker, and I want to leave this planet thinking that I made my best efforts to change the world for the better. And in my book, you know, no pun intended, the best way I see that I can do that is to help moms, because if I help moms feel better emotionally, then I think that they can, they will be better mothers, whatever that means for them, right? Not what I think a better mother would be. But whatever the best moms they want to be and what is a good mom in their in their eyes. And when that happens, I believe they’re more most likely to create children who are emotionally intelligent, emotionally resilient, who can be kind, compassionate, creative. And when we have a next generation of humans, that are compassionate, kind good communicators, I think that that can change our entire future for the planet. So to me, the number one population that would give us the best bang for the buck to help is moms. So I feel really strongly about that,
ya know, for sure. And I think really, what’s important to to understand for our audience is, you know, I don’t know that people can appreciate an anxiety style, if you don’t fully understand how it can manifest itself in your life that is to say, stress, and overwhelm. So could you take us through some examples that perhaps we don’t ordinarily sort of single out as part of a bigger problem?
Oh, that’s a really I love that question. Because and in the book, I do break down, I put a list of triggers, so that people, people can begin to see their own triggers. Because sometimes we just don’t, we don’t, we’re too in it, right. And we don’t even notice it. So I will say things like, hey, you know, you might know that you’re emotionally triggered, if after the kids go to bed, you’re opening up that freezer, and you’re just you’re pouring into the ice cream, right? And it’s not something you do every night, but you do when you’re feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed. Or you could start, you know, scanning, you know, Instagram and you know, replying or getting all upset about things, you know, Oh, ha, that’s not something I normally do. I must be feeling, you know, extra feisty right now. Or you could go online and all of a sudden, you know, that whenever you’re feeling triggered, you’re on you know, overstock.com and you’re ordering pillows, or something like that. Or you start you know, reading articles and going down spirals on the news and watching our you know, reading articles after articles after articles that are not helping your emotional state but actually increasing the amount of anxiety and overwhelm you feel. So a lot of it is you know, helping parents to understand what they do. Maybe you’re quick to tears, you know, you’re just like finding yourself really emotional, or you’re fine. Finding your your patients wearing thin something that you would have laughed at a week ago happens, the identical situation, and all of a sudden you’re yelling at everybody. So it’s so important for parents to help identify our own triggers. So that we know. Okay, yeah, this, I might need to institute some of these support, you know, mechanisms, some emotional toolbox items, so that I can move through this, because this is an indication to me that I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious because of, and like I just said, it looks different in everybody. So for some people, anxiety manifests as getting really angry, getting really irritable, you know, so that’s when it it’s the energy is focused outward, right? So I’m going to be short with people, I’m going to have a high expectations, I’m going to, you know, want to kind of get into the fray with people. And other times it goes inward. Oh, I just cancelled all my plans. I am not answering my phone, I am staying in bed, I am not getting out of my pajamas. I’m going within. And that’s what the anxiety is causing me to withdraw. And chances are just in those two examples, most of the people listening will say, Oh, yeah, I do. I do one of those, you know, we fairly we know ourselves fairly well. So we know and maybe, you know, different times of, of your life that’s ebbed and flowed a little bit, but chances are you if you stop to think about it, which is important part, you can identify how you tend to behave when you feel anxious, and what that looks like, because it doesn’t always look like thing you know, it’s not like the movie anxious, right? Like, I’m, oh, I’m biting my fingers and twirling my hair and having heart palpitations, and sweating. Like, okay, that’s like a cartoon version of anxiety, right. And so when you’re feeling uncertain about the future, and it’s causing negative, emotional response in your body, that’s anxiety. And I like to say to with, you know, overwhelm, because that’s a term that goes around a lot. And that’s why I called this book, The unflustered mom, instead of using like stress or anxiety, or, or even overwhelm in the title, because they’re kind of overused. And a lot of moms will think of, you know, that overwhelmed is caused by the number of items on your to do list the number of responsibilities, you hold the number of jobs, you’re trying to juggle the number of children, you have the number of elderly parents, you’re, you’re also managing, you know, the number of financial, you know, issues that you have in your life. And while those can all certainly attribute to, or contribute rather, to your level of frustration and overwhelm, it really is less that and more, how are you spending your time are you spending your energy, your attention, your focus your resources, and is that aligned with what’s really important to you, if you’re spending a ton of time, a ton of money, a ton of resources, on things that are not really truly important to you, you’re doing them because it’s your job or because your mother in law is pressuring you or because, you know, your your family is pressuring you. And it’s really not in ways that that are important to you specifically, that’s draining. And that is when resentment can, can come up, right? That’s when frustration overwhelm burnout, all of those things can start to kind of bubble up. Now, when you’re spending a large majority of your time and energy in ways that are really important to you. That’s when you’re still busy. But you are energized by that behavior, you are fulfilled by that by those actions. And so what I tried to do both in in my work one on one with people and in my writing is to help people really clarify that for themselves so that they can move toward more and more alignment. And, and then that’s when you’re really working in your like zone of genius anyway, right? And we’re all better off when we don’t try to do things that like oh, stay when you know, you don’t go to your like and this is where mom job is is really unique. And so maybe this will add some perspective is like you don’t go to your accountant and expect them to serve you like really good Thai food right? And you don’t go to your dentist and expect them to do your taxes and you don’t go to you know, and on and on and on. You get the exact example right. You know, go out for a comedy show and expect you know your house to be cleaned when you come home. Right. We all in our jobs, we’re allowed to really show up in our expertise. And then we get other people Do the other things. Whereas a mom life, obviously, we all know this, you are unfortunately, that job, quote unquote, has evolved to expect moms to be good at all of those different things, right? To be the pediatrician, to be the cook, to be the caretaker, to be the emotional therapist to be the driver to be the, you know, soccer coach, like, all of those things, and it’s, the expectations are just so unrealistic. And it sets ourselves up for those feelings of guilt. And, you know, embarrassment, Oh, I’m so bad at this, like, I hate cooking and cleaning for my family. But I, you know, oh, that you’re not allowed to say that, you know, and then I have, because I, that’s true for me. And I’ll have people say, Oh, well, I’ll give you this recipe. Like, it literally only has four ingredients, and you do this, and then you do that. And I’m like, you know, you lost me at four ingredients. You lost me actually a recipe, honestly, like you don’t seem to understand. I don’t want to boil rice. I don’t want to make rice, I won’t measure it. I refuse to measure rice when I cook it. Sometimes it turns out, so does it does it, I don’t care. I don’t want to do it. And I don’t want to get good at it. Because then I feel like I don’t know that in my mind, then I’ll have to do it more. And you know, I still have to feed my kids. But instead, I fill myself up with other things. And then all of a sudden making rice is no big deal. But if I’m not filling myself up with other things, then making rice is like anxiety provoking and builds resentment and frustration. And I still have to feed my kids.
It is so true. That analogy, it is so true. I am here to tell you that I have lived it. And you know, I heard a great line a few months ago that I share with anyone that will listen to me. And the question was this and the line was this. What are you doing to protect your energy? Yeah, question. And you start to think about it. It’s exactly what you just described. But anyway, getting back to your book for a second, you talk about the framework that you developed, I’m curious as to what sort of preparation in terms of research that you undertook to write this book
gets really interesting. Well, I meditate regularly and have for about 10 years now. But back when I turned 40, I started meditating regularly. And the concept for this book came as what a lot of people call it download, it came as an intuitive hit after meditation. And I just started writing and writing and writing. And I have a background in psychology and obviously work as a therapist. And so there’s something called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which was a famous paper that came out in, I think, 1941 or 42. And it’s talked about a lot. And that concept came into my head. And then I was thinking also about the five love languages and how that framework, which is also a very popular book became very, very popular, and that it helped people to understand, Oh, how I like to give and receive love might be different from how you like to give and receive love. And when I understand my style and your style, wow, I can really show up for you in a way that allows you to feel loved, and you can show up for me in the same way in a different way. But then I can feel loved. And so I kind of married those two ideas, and then kept tweaking it from there. And it’s really interesting, because what I didn’t do is go study 1000s of people with this framework. And I have a good friend of mine who’s an anthropologist, and she’s a professor and she said, Well, you, you have to go, you have to go research this. And I said, okay, like talk to me explain more. And she did and all with valid, you know, concerns. And I said, Okay, I could go do that I can go I mean, I’ve always wanted to get my PhD, I said I could go go back to school, study this, get my PhD. write research papers on this, and it’s probably gonna take, you know, four to six years to do that. And people need this now, honestly, and if it resonates with people, and it’s helpful to them, great. If it doesn’t resonate with them, then they don’t have to use it. And it’s none of the recommendations or strategies that I recommend are going to be, you know, hurtful or damaging to anybody’s lives. It’s not like I’m recommending some sort of like, I don’t know, medicinal therapy or something like that. And so, you know, all of the strategies that I recommend will help anybody really truthfully, in my book, it was really, it was really about you know how to I help people find the strategies that are most likely to work for them. Because we’re all different. And I think that this is a beautiful way to understand those differences. And in the 55, or 60 or so podcast interviews I’ve done so far, it seems to really be resonating with people and helping them and giving them this aha, like, Oh, now I get why this particular situation completely stressed out my partner, but I was like, What are you talking about? This is good news, actually. And now I can have a little bit more compassion and understanding while he gets really triggered whenever I come home with like, a grand new plan and want to drop everything and, and get in the car and and completely do something different. And he understands why that fills me up. And we can have a conversation with some more compassion and understanding. So at the end of the day, I decided to write the book and, and do the quiz. And right make the quiz and research as I go. And so that’s, that’s what happened.
We’re almost out of time. And yeah, but I do want to get to a couple of really questions really quickly. First of all, what is your anxiety style?
I’m a dynamo, which is very, like achievement oriented, very much, doing very much making decisions from a logical practical standpoint up here in my head, instead of kind of this gut instinct are following my heart or intuitive decisions, I tend to be more future oriented than in the present moment. So a lot of the strategies that I offer for dynamos are about getting into the present moment mindfulness, you know, meditation is super impactful for me, because that is not a default mode I’m in where’s my husband? He’s very good at being in the present moment, you know, and he’s very naturally meditative in a way that I have to like, I had to practice. That makes sense. So yeah, I’m a dynamo.
And so then how, knowing that you’re a dynamo, how did that impact how you parent, your four sons, who, incidentally, are ages, between 10 and 15 years old?
Yeah. So I mean, I think that as parents, we tend to understand the motives and the triggers of children that have similar styles as we do, right. So there’s a little bit more like, oh, yeah, I get why you would be upset at this, I would be upset at this too. So it’s easier to connect sometimes emotionally, with our children if they have similar anxiety styles. And what it has helped me to do is understand where my kids have different anxiety styles and I do, how I can show up to meet their emotional needs a little bit more readily. And even just words we use and sometimes you have, like, we got a cat during COVID. Watching how differently each of my kids interacted with the cat was a huge enlightenment window. Right? I had one that kind of took over the care and feeding. Like he makes sure that water bowl is clean, every single day, make sure the food is there. He just left me a note on my to do list today saying Hey, Mom, can you order wet food for Andy please? So he is on top of things, right? That’s how he that’s what’s important to him. And that’s how he shows his his love and care. Another one is constantly saying, I love you, Andy, I love you, you’re such you know, is very verbal. So that shows me okay, if I want to connect with these two different kids, here, they’re showing me they’re showing me how they want to be connected with and what’s important to them. So I think that that’s a really important observation that parents can do is watch, watch how your children in, you know, watch what they’re triggered by right? And see if it fits into one of those five anxiety styles. And then you can help share with them some of the strategies that might be useful.
Amber Trueblood therapist, author of The unflustered Mom, thank you so much for taking the time to share your perspective with us today.
Thank you and I do want to say the book is available on Audible. So for all you parents that are driving around and doing carpool or driving to work or going for walks in the evenings or in the mornings. It’s it’s an easy listen and you can get it on on Audible otherwise anywhere books are sold.
Wonderful. Thank you so much.
“There’s the lover, the fighter, the executive, the dynamo, and the visionary,” says Amber Trueblood, a licensed marriage and family therapist, based in San Diego, California, describing the five anxiety styles. “And each of these has different core values and emotional triggers,” Trueblood told Lianne Castelino during an interview for Where Parents Talk.
A mother of four boys, Trueblood published a book on this topic, The Unflustered Mom: How Understanding the Five Anxiety Styles Transforms the Way We Parent, Partner, Live and Love, in 2023.
“What may cause anxiety for you may not cause anxiety for your husband, your mother-in-law, your neighbor, or your best friend,” she continues.”Because of that, we’re going to have different reactions to whatever challenges come up in our lives.”
Trueblood shared insights for parents and caregivers during a podcast and video interview, explaining her unique approach and how it can help mothers feel better equipped emotionally to raise their kids.
A reader can determine which anxiety style fits their own personality, based on Trueblood’s list of triggers. She tells Castelino that we often recognize these styles as soon as they are described, whether it’s wasting time on social media, online shopping, binge-eating at night, getting worked up about the news, or feeling patience wearing thin. These habits can be draining and lead to feelings of overwhelm, impeding one’s ability to be emotionally present and responsive to kids in ways that they need.
Enter Trueblood’s strategies. “I break it down for each anxiety style, what you can do on a daily basis, on a weekly basis, even once a year… I walk people through what’s called an emotional emergency support plan (EESP), so that they choose the best [coping] strategies.”
Once that EESP is made, it can go on a parent’s phone, in their wallet, or on the wall for easy reference whenever they are feeling highly anxious or frustrated or mad. Looking at it can “give you the confidence that you’re armed with the tools that actually work for you to get back on the saddle again and feel good and not, like, ‘Oh God, I have four more hours until bedtime to do this.’”
Trueblood says she wanted to write for mothers specifically because they are typically the ones most involved in raising the next generation.
Good moms are “most likely to create children who are emotionally intelligent, emotionally resilient, who can be kind, compassionate, creative… I think that that can change our entire future for the planet.”
During her interview with Where Parents Talk, Amber Trueblood also discusses:
- How meditation inspired her to write the book
- Why she wanted to write for mothers in particular
- What her own anxiety style is and how it has affected her parenting
- Why she thinks the word “overwhelm” is overused