It’s normal for our children to feel worried or anxious from time to time. Sometimes if those worries get too big, we look to ways we can support our children. Books written specifically for children on worry are a really helpful way to start the conversation.
Based on my many years working with children; in my early years and family support role and now as a mindfulness and relaxation coach I’ve put together a list of the best books and resources that will help children understand and manage their worries and anxiety.
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1. The Huge Bag of Worries
Wherever Jenny goes, her worries follow her – in a big blue bag. They are with her all the time – at school, at home, when she is watching TV and even in the bathroom! Jenny decides they have to go, but who will help her get rid of them? A funny and reassuring look at dealing with worries and anxiety, to be used as a spring board into important conversations with your child.
2. No Worries! Mindful Kids: An activity book for young people who sometimes feel anxious or stressed
No Worries! is an interactive self-care activity book for children aged 7+ to colour and doodle their way to happiness, calm and confidence. The encouraging and simple activities and exercises tackle anxiety, sadness and stress; children will enjoy using their creativity to combat negative feelings, work out why they feel worried and how to put stress back in its place through writing, colouring, doodling and drawing.
3. What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
What to Do When You Worry Too Much is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalised anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change.
4. Hey Warrior
Kids can do amazing things with the right information. Understanding why anxiety feels the way it does and where the physical symptoms come from is a powerful step in turning anxiety around. Anxiety explained, kids empowered. Key themes of: anxiety, self-care and positivity.
5. When My Worries Get Too Big!: A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live with Anxiety
Engaging and easy to read, this illustrated children’s book is filled with opportunities for children to participate in developing their own self-calming strategies. Children who use the simple strategies in this charming book, illustrated by the author, will find themselves relaxed and ready to focus on work or play!
6. When Sadness Comes to Call (Big Emotions)
When Sadness arrives, try not to be afraid: give it a name, listen to it and spend some time together. Maybe all it wants is to know that it’s welcome. This beautiful debut by new author-illustrator talent Eva Eland takes a poignant but uplifting look at dealing with uncomfortable emotions.
7. Me and My Fear
When a young girl has to travel to a new country and start at a new school, her Fear tells her to be alone and afraid. How can she hope to make friends if she doesn’t understand their language? A heart-warming and relevant new tale from the bestselling author and illustrator of The Journey, this book shows us the importance of sharing your Fear with others – after all, everyone carries a Fear with them, even if it’s small enough to fit into their pocket!
8. After the Fall
After the fall, Humpty Dumpty is a broken egg. Life is tough: he’s so afraid of heights, he can’t even bear to climb onto his bed, or reach his favourite cereal on the top shelf at the supermarket. But one day, fuelled by his passion for bird-watching, he decides to conquer his fears and something amazing happens…
9. Wilma Jean the Worry Machine
This fun and humorous book addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety.The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety.
10. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
Beatrice Bottomwell has NEVER (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, the entire town calls her The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes! One day, the inevitable happens: Beatrice makes a huge mistake in front of everyone! But in the end, readers (and perfectionists) will realise that life is more fun when you enjoy everything–even the mistakes.
11. Wemberly Worried
Wemberly worried about spilling her juice, about shrinking in the bathtub, even about snakes in the radiator. She worried morning, noon, and night. “Worry, worry, worry,” her family said. “Too much worry.” And Wemberly worried about one thing most of all: her first day of school. But when she meets a fellow worrywart in her class, Wemberly realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!
As well as all the wonderful books, there are some fantastic resources out there too. Here are a few of my favourite.
1. Worry Monster
Meet the worry monster who can help gobble up your child’s worries. Children can write their worries on a piece of paper and put it in the monsters mouth – when they wake in the morning the worry will be gone. This is a nice way for your children to express their emotions and get them down on paper – hopefully you will then be able to start a conversation with your child.
2. Interactive Worry Plaque
Give your worries to the fairies with this interactive Worry Plaque! Fairy magic can take your worries from you with just one touch, leaving you worry-free. The plaque glows red when you place your hand on it and think of your worry. When the fairies have heard it, the plaque glows green, signifying your worries have transferred to the fairies successfully.
My daughter loved this when she was little and it really helped. As she’s got a little older she has started to tell me her worries are still there – but it still works, as it helps her open up and we can talk about her worries together.
3. The No More Worries Kit
Let the Fairies take your worries away… no matter where you are! the ‘no more worries’ kit is the perfect way to express your feelings and give your worries away. Place your thumb on the included ‘no more worries’ mini plaque and think of your worry. When it glows red, the Fairies are listening. When it turns green, you know they have taken your worry away! the kit also includes conversation cards which help open up a conversation comfortably with a grown up about what is worrying you plus a feelings journal where you can express yourself and your emotions freely.
We bought this a few weeks ago and it’s a great follow on from the worry plaque, the conversation cards are fab for initiating conversation about worries.
4. Tranquil Turtle
The brand new Tranquil Turtle from Cloud b combines the sense of sight and sound in one fun product! Tranquil Turtle projects a magical underwater light effect with a gentle wave motion and plays two soothing sounds to help children sleep.
Hopefully some of these books will support your child and their worries. Please seek extra support from an educator or health care professional if you feel your child is not improving in their mental health.