Taming Sneaky Fears starts with Part A: Leo the Lion’s Story of Bravery. Leo is too shy, nervous, and scared to speak to other animals or his teachers—and he’s definitely afraid of his own roar. With his mother’s help, Leo learns that change takes patience, practice, and practical tools. Leo overcomes his anxiety by taming his Sneaky Fears, and even uses his newfound skills to help his friend, Ellie the Elephant, challenge her fear of heights and her need to always be perfectly perfect.
Part B, 38-pages of Inside Leo's Den: The Workbook, outlines the techniques that helped Leo find his voice and overcome his shyness. These practices were developed by experienced child psychiatrists to help children who suffer intense anxiety, including those who are excessively shy, unable to speak in social situations, or fearful of new experiences and new people.
Taming Sneaky Fears aims to help your young child become more aware of feelings and learn to cope with anxiety through fun, creative, and active exercises.
‘Taming Sneaky Fears’ simplifies proven cognitive-behavioral strategies for anxiety and presents them in a delightful storybook format, appealing to young children and their parents. Based on the authors’ extensive experience treating this population in the clinic, the book uses animal characters to bring to life Leo the Lion’s successful struggle to bravely overcome shyness and selective mutism. The accompanying workbook empowers parents to guide their children as they overcome fears and shyness, and move towards healthy, confident emotional development. For any parent seeking these changes for their child, it’s a must-read.
Katharina Manassis, MD, FRCPC
Professor Emerita, University of Toronto
Author of Keys to Parenting Young Anxious Child
"This book is a wonderful resource and a must-read for parents of young children with anxiety. The charming story and associated workbook teaches children and parents invaluable skills for recognizing and managing anxious feelings and behaviours."
Nicola Keyhan, MD, FRCPC, Child Psychiatrist, Sick Kids Hospital (and parent of a young child)
"An outstanding resource for parents developed by two leading experts in childhood anxiety"
Anna Chen, MD, FRCPC (psychiatrist in private practice and parent of a young child)
“Well written, easy to understand, full of tips which will help young children with excessive shyness and many fears.”
Boris Birmaher, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
About the Authors:
Dr. Diane Benoit and Dr. Suneeta Monga are child psychiatrists at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Kids and the University of Toronto. They work with young children to overcome their anxieties while giving their parents the resources to help.
Dr. Benoit’s and Dr. Monga’s work in developing the “Taming Sneaky Fears” treatment program inspired them to write the children’s story and companion workbook, Taming Sneaky Fears. They recognized the lack of current, user-friendly resources and so collaborated to provide instructions on how to cope with anxiety. With more than a decade of feedback from children, parents, and therapists, they refined Leo’s story and ensured the activities presented in the workbook can be put into practice by young children.