Love In, Love Out: Questions with Dr. Malie Coyne

This week, we at Dublin Book Festival gave you the opportunity to ask one of our authors, Dr. Malie Coyne, questions about her new book. We were delighted to get to chat to Malie and ask her all your burning questions. Here’s what Malie had to say…

What was the inspiration behind writing your book Love in, Love Out? 

The reason I wrote this book was that I was an anxious child myself and I work with parents of anxious children and I found it was very important to facilitate the understanding between parents and their children. 

What do you think is a symptom of anxiety in children that often goes ignored/gets missed by parents or family?

I suppose what can be misunderstood sometimes is that anxiety feels very real to the child. So their brain perceives a threat which then lets off all of this adrenaline, this fight or flight adrenaline in their bodies. And when they’ve nothing to fight or to run away from, that all gets stored up in their bodies and it’s responsible for things like stomach aches and dizziness and your heart racing much faster. And then they get these doom and gloom thoughts like “Oh my God, that party’s really scary” or “there really is a monster in my room”. And that leads to children avoiding things that give them a lot of pleasure. So, when your child says to you that they’re anxious, they’re recruiting you for your support. 

What is your number one tip to parents struggling with an anxious child due to the Coronavirus?

I’ve designed a safe chain of resilience, especially for parents in mind. I think it’s very useful during this time of anxiety with the Coronavirus where a lot of parents and children are anxious. 

S is for self care which is all about the parent reflecting on themselves. How do they feel in reaction to their child being anxious? And can they bring kindness to themselves and nurturance to themselves so that they can be a little bit calmer in reaction to their children.

A is for anchoring you child. So, it’s the role that you play as an anchor for your child and there’s lots of really useful ways to dissipate that adrenaline they’re feeling – like shaking on purpose or breathing like a dragon or doing the figure of 8 underneath your desk at school with your toes. 

F is for feeling felt. Helping your child by validating their experience when they talk to you, unpacking their worries, trying to figure out what part of going to school they’re most worried about.

E is for empowerment. So once your child feels anchored and safe and connected with you, then they’re much better able to use strategies like mindfulness, kindfullness, cognitive behavioral therapy and play, because play really loosens fear. 

Are there any online tools/games/resources that you would recommend for anxious children?

I have loads at the end of my book! is a great website., and HeadSpace for Kids is really helpful as well. 

Dr. Malie Coyne will be joining us as part of DBF Snug next Tuesday 10th in our event Coronavirus Anxiety: Dr Malie Coyne and Dr Brendan Kelly In Conversation with Trish Murphy.

Dr. Coyne will be offering tips and advice for parents and caregivers to help their children to cope with anxiety during these strange times.

Click here for more information and to book your FREE ticket

#AskanAuthor is an initiative at the Dublin Book Festival that encourages our audience to pose questions to the authors at DBF 2020. We may be going digital but we want to make sure that our audience don’t miss out on direct engagement with the authors.

You are invited to submit questions to each week’s chosen author via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Email. Create a tweet or post containing your question and include the hashtag #AskAnAuthor. Alternatively, you can send us an email at with #AskAnAuthor in the subject line