It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Give-away: Growing Up Brave

I am so happy about Poppy!

She is arriving, not just cheerful, but buoyant. If I’m not reading too much into a two-year-old’s psyche, it’s as if she knows she’s overcome a personal hurdle, and is psyched! Or maybe she’s just that happy not to be frightened any more. Or maybe this is just Poppy being Poppy. She’s a cutie, that one.

The point is, four weeks after NBG’s advent into the daycare, and after three weeks of focussed effort, Poppy is happy again. No more anxiety, no more demanding the escape of naps, no more tears when NBG cries, no more clinging to me, or, when that’s not available to her, hiding in corners.

(If you haven’t read the other posts, the context for all this celebration is here, here, and here.)

She does still cover her eyes when NBG cries. She does not cower in terror or try to flee upstairs to her nap room. And, increasingly? If the tears are not too loud and alarming, she will express concern for the baby. “Aw, she is sad. Poor baby!” Express concern and even come near enough to touch her, to give her a pat on the head. “Poor baby!”

This is huge! And how did we get there? Not through my own instincts and experience. This one had me thrown. I know, because I’ve seen it before and I couldn’t make it work. No, this time I needed help, and I found it in the form of the book I kept citing, Growing Up Brave.

There I learned that Poppy’s “naps” (and Lily’s before her, had I but known) were not a transitional strategy, but an avoidance strategy … which explained why they weren’t helping at all. There I learned the idea of exposure therapy: the only way to learn to deal with the thing that scares you … is to deal with the thing that scares you! But not cold turkey. We’re not throwing the kid off the dock to teach her to swim. No, because Growing Up Brave also taught me the idea of the Bravery Ladder, incremental steps to a larger goal.

With those bits of information in place, with some persistence, encouragement, and loving hardass-ness, Poppy did it! We did it!

If you have a child, or know a child, who struggles with anxiety, I strongly recommend this book. You know what? The publisher (Little, Brown and Company) has three copies to give away to you, my lovely readers, so I am hosting a give-away!

The giveaway will be open until Friday, October 5 at noon EST, and I’ll choose the winners with the highly scientific and time-tested method of drawing names out of a hat. I’ll then contact the three winners privately for your addresses, so that the publisher can send your copy directly to you.

Oops: Update: Two points I didn’t mention, but commenters showed me I should have: 1> You participate simply by posting a comment! and 2> Only the US and Canada, sorry!
Good luck!

October 2, 2012 - Posted by | books, Poppy | , ,


  1. What a great giveaway! If I don’t happen to win, though, I’m going to buy the book. It seems to be a good resource to have on hand.

    Agreed. It’s a very useful book, and belongs on the shelf of anyone who works with children, or who has an anxious child.

    Comment by Hannelore | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  2. I would *LOVE* a copy – in fact if I don’t win I’ll buy it anyway, because with our own New Baby Girl starting in three weeks and Luna struggling with what I now recognize from your posts as anxiety, I could use it.

    Sign me up!

    It sounds from your posts that Luna has a worse case of it than Poppy, too. I gather by inference and what I know of Poppy’s parents that Luna’s parents probably aren’t responding as helpfully as Poppy’s, so poor Luna gets it coming and going: a more severe condition, and a less helpful support staff! 🙂

    Comment by Hannah | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  3. Ooh, sounds like a great book. How do we participate in the giveaway?

    You just did! If you live in the States or Canada, you’re now entered. If not, I’m afraid you’re ineligible.

    Comment by Kirsten | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  4. Will they ship to Switzerland? Because I’d sure has heck love a copy. I’m so happy it worked for Poppy! And can I suggest Heidi for NBG?

    Well, since I feel badly that no, they don’t ship to Switzerland — I had no idea that’s where you were! oh, the wonderful Internet — you get the compensation prize of naming NBG. Heidi she is!

    Comment by evilhrlady | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  5. Ooh, I’d love a copy! I’ve been thinking I should try this with my daughter just based on your posts. Having the book would make it much easier.

    Comment by Gillian | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  6. After a hellish month with new DCboys (major aniexty) I could use a copy!

    Comment by Kate | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  7. I am so glad that Poppy is happy again. That book sounds great and would be very helpful with my anxious son. Thanks for having a giveaway!

    Comment by Marci | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  8. I would love to read that book. I take care of a 4 year old who is terrified of bugs! It doesn’t even have to be a real bug. if she sees a shadow or a piece of lint that even looks like a bug she will scream and cry hysterically. We rarely go to the park anymore because she spends the entire time on the bench next to me sobbing because she thinks the bugs are going to get her. Her parents are mostly annoyed by her behavior so maybe reading this book will help us both handle this.

    Comment by Janis | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  9. I would love a copy of this book. Several of the children I’ve nannied for throughout my career could benefit greatly from it, I’m sure, and I love to have resources to help their poor parents!

    Comment by Kelsie | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  10. I would love a copy of this book! I have one child who is anxious about so many things that it’s just overwhelming at time.

    Comment by Jessica | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  11. I’ll admit that I’m a little addicted to parenting books anyway, as much because I enjoy seeing different perspectives as for building my own toolbox. Do you think it would help with scared of the dark/scared of sleeping in her own bed sorts of anxiety? We’re trying to make this transition (to her own bed) right now with our four-year-old and it’s happening, but it’s rough. And she’s been living with the anxiety for a year (of Big Bad Wolf and monsters), since we moved into the new house, despite all assurances that the house is a safe place.

    Yes, I believe this book would help. Keep your fingers crossed! It’s 6:00 a.m. on Monday, and I’m writing all these names on slips of paper right now!

    Comment by Tairgire | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  12. Oh, how neat! I’ve enjoyed hearing how the book has helped you help Poppy, and I’d love a copy.

    Comment by Kristina | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  13. I’d be very excited to have a copy of this book- it sounds so wonderful! Certainly it’s done great things for Poppy! : )

    Comment by daycaregirl | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  14. I would love a copy! I wish I had this book when I was a nanny. It was a struggle to encourage the girls I work with to feel comfortable playing with other children. I think this book would have helped!

    Comment by Gretchen Devine | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  15. put my name in the hat! I think these strategies would be great even for generally non-anxious kids. we all avoid some things, right?

    Comment by Meesha | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  16. Here’s my chance…..heck, the tips you discussed would be great for me too!

    Comment by Kathy | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  17. It sounds like a great book! I’d like to own it PLEASE!!! 😀

    Comment by millerjen | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  18. My son has always trended a few years behind his peers in terms of bravery and is starting to become embarrassed by it; sounds like this book could really help us out. Thanks for offering a giveaway!

    Comment by Lin | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  19. My middle child has anxiety issues any time she is faced with something new. She will stress and worry about every detailed unknown until she can face it and see it’s not so bad. She’s only 5, so I’m sure this book would be great for her. I’ve also had a couple daycare kids with anxiety and fears that are higher on the scale than the typical kiddo, still have one of those kids now. I hope I win this book! :o)

    Comment by | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  20. Add my name to the hat, please! I have a daughter with anxiety and other “help your child with anxiety” books have not been as helpful as I would have hoped. Since you recommend this one so highly I would like to give it a try!

    Comment by mamadragon | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  21. I have a copy on hold at the library based on your suggestion, but I know I could use my own copy. My 3.5 year old is having a tough time with school transitions and is very anxious about anything new. She gets it from me, so I’m very curious to learn some good techniques that could help her through these and future new challenges. I so want her to be braver and more adventurous than me!

    Comment by Amy | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  22. I have this on my wishlist and would love, love, love a copy. One of my own girls is not so brave and we are constantly working on it. I could use some help.

    Comment by wallingjan1 | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  23. My bright and happy, but socially nervous 2-year-old boy would definitely benefit from this!

    Comment by Alex | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  24. I would love a copy!! (I might apply some of it to myself! :))

    Comment by Rachel | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  25. I’d love a copy of this book! Great to hear that the strategies have been working for Poppy; what a great recommendation that is.

    Comment by Tricia | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  26. My 7 year old has a lot of anxiety. I too have been intrigued by the descriptions you’ve written of the book

    Comment by Ariel | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  27. Sounds like an amazing book! I could use it at work (I work at a preschool).

    Comment by Kethrim | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  28. It sounds like a great book! I’m in the uk unfortunately, but it might be one I need to get for our parenting group library.

    Comment by Angie | October 3, 2012 | Reply

    • Actually, I have a friend in the US would would “lend” me their address, if it would be possible to do that? Thanks very much!


      Sure. The publisher doesn’t ship outside Canada or the US. I see no reason your friend couldn’t do it! Your name will go in the hat!

      Comment by Angie | October 6, 2012 | Reply

      • Thank you so much. Think I will probably get the book for the group anyway.

        Comment by Angie | October 8, 2012

  29. I would love a copy! As a teacher who has anxiety it will be useful for helping my kiddos out!

    Comment by Maria Muellerleile | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  30. I was actually just thinking that I would have to find a copy of this in my library, but I would love a copy to keep! My son is getting increasingly anxious about the world around him, and I would love to learn some strategies to help him be more brave and less afraid. I think he is missing out on some fun parts of life because he is too worried to enjoy them or even try them sometimes.

    Comment by Tuesy | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  31. This sounds like a fantastic resource. My 3 year old has transition issues at daycare and my younger child is starting daycare soon.

    Comment by Katie | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  32. I would love to have a copy of this book. As a preschool teacher I need as many resources as I can get! This also sounds like a good book to recommend to parents of children struggling with fears and anxieties.

    Comment by Julia | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  33. I would love to have a copy. I have already reserved a copy from our library but I would like to have one to keep! After 23 years in the child care field I am always looking for new resources. I have also recommended this book to a family that is dealing with 2 children with anxiety issues.

    Comment by Becki | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  34. Delurking to say I’d love to have a copy for my grandson who struggles greatly with anxiety. I was ready to buy a copy but will try to win one first. I love your blog and take on childcare and wish I’d had you around years ago when I had a daycare. Thanks for providing this opportunity.

    Comment by Lida | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  35. I would definitely love a copy! The small one I nanny for is very anxious and it makes me crazy since I have no idea how to deal with it.

    Comment by Brooke | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  36. I have a little who is quite frankly afraid of everything that makes noise from toys to people and even a live theater show. I would love to read a copy of Growing Up Brave.

    I am curious if the second new baby, who was to come part time, has arrived and how did Poppy handle him?

    Comment by Anne | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  37. Anxiety is common in my house (mostly mine) but with two little boys and me being acutely aware of how debilitating it can be, this would be a fantastic read to arm me with coping mechanisms when and if this arises in the future. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Comment by ~Tammi~ (@TammiHayne) | October 4, 2012 | Reply

  38. I’ve actually been planning on buying this book, as I have a little almost 2-year-old girl in care that definitely has some anxiety issues! She has managed to overcome her fear of any adult coming into my house, and will now actually greet some of the other parents that she recognizes, but I feel, after reading your posts, that there would have been a much better way to accomplish this that would have been alot easier on her had I only known how to help her!

    Comment by Bev | October 4, 2012 | Reply

  39. Omg, what an awesome book idea. I almost didn’t leave a comment because Owl has zero anxieties, but as someone who has an anxiety disorder and has been through Cognitive Behavior Therapy, I am wildly curious about the contents. Besides, my next kid could take after me!

    Comment by IfByYes | October 4, 2012 | Reply

  40. Yay! It’s on my wish list at amazon right now! Please add my name! 🙂

    Comment by ccrot | October 4, 2012 | Reply

  41. I am hoping I am the winner of this contest. If not, I will borrow from library or buy myself a copy. i look forward to reading your blog. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Comment by Theresa Condy | October 4, 2012 | Reply

  42. I have loved your posts on dealing with an anxious toddler. I am a nanny for one and she recently started using “Im tired” whenever it’s time to use the potty. Thanks for helping me approach this in a healthy constructive way.

    Comment by leslie | October 4, 2012 | Reply

  43. Oh, please add me in to the growing list! I was headed to the library to find it – and probaboly still will – but my own copy would be wonderful.

    Comment by Karen | October 4, 2012 | Reply

  44. Oh I would love a copy! I checked my local library the first time you mentioned it, but no such luck… I just wish I could time-travel back and apply the bravery ladder to my childhood self!

    Comment by Rini | October 5, 2012 | Reply

  45. That book sounds great! I’m always at a loss how to help my little ones deal with fear that, to me, seem irrationnal. I’ll jump in too!

    Comment by Nicholas | October 5, 2012 | Reply

  46. I don’t know how to close comments on a post, so just so you all know: THIS GIVE-AWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Any comments received after this one will not be entered. Thank you!

    Comment by MaryP | October 5, 2012 | Reply

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