Every child has their biggest fear, and this is a natural part of growing up. Young kids may feel worried at times, such as on the first day of school or before an exam. According to the CDC, roughly 7% of children aged 3 to 17 have an anxiety disorder, and seemingly insignificant things can be exhausting for them.
Fortunately, there is a large library of books for kids with anxiety that parents may use to assist their children in coping.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a concern or fearful feeling in various physical symptoms, thoughts, and emotions. Anxiety and stress can sneak up on your children when you’re not looking.
What Are The Signs Of Anxiety In A Child?
When young children are anxious, they may not be able to comprehend or communicate their feelings. You might notice the following:
- worries a lot about things like family, school, friends, and activities.
- low confidence and self-esteem
- concern about things before they happen
- stomachache, headache, muscle aches, stress weariness, and restlessness
- lack of concentration
- inability to relax
- difficulty sleeping and nightmares
- fear of making mistakes or being humiliated
When To Worry About Child Anxiety?
When your child feels trapped in anxiety, or when it feels overwhelming, unpleasant, or uncontrolled, it can become a problem. If this type of worrying continues, it can make them feel tired, alone and limit what they can do. If your child’s anxiety affects their well-being and compromises their daily life, you may need assistance from mental health experts.
How Anxiety Affects Children
Anxiety affects a child’s intellect as well as how they feel. They imagine the danger and become more frightened as they consider the problem.
These are some challenges that anxious children face at school:
- Problems with attendance
- Avoiding social situations and group projects
- Obnoxious behavior
- Unresponsive to questions in class
- Visiting the clinic regularly
- Issues with specific subjects
- Not submitting homework
How Does Reading Help Kids With Anxiety?
Reading not only improves their early literacy abilities and stimulates their imaginations, but it is also a great approach to relieve tension and anxiety. According to a study from the University of Sussex, reading for as little as six minutes reduces stress levels in people by 68 percent, making books about anxiety a better stress reliever than music, walking, or video games.
Reading transforms our state of mind by provoking imagination, stimulating creativity, and bringing our minds into focus. Reading can assist children in better understanding their emotional well-being and learning to manage their emotions.
Best Books For Kids With Anxiety
Okay, so you’ve decided to join the club — but what books should you give your child first?
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a collection of amazing books for you and your kids to read together that will help them manage, understand, and overcome their fear.
1. What to do when you worry too much?
Suitable for ages: 6-12
What to do when you worry too much? by Dawn Hubener introduces cognitive-behavioral approaches in an age-appropriate way, giving nervous kids the tools and techniques they need to identify and control their anxiety.
What we like: This includes step-by-step instructions, writing and drawing activities, and a note to parents. This book encourages children to work for change by educating, motivating, and empowering them.
2. When Worry Takes Hold
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Liz Haske’s When Worry Takes Hold tells us the story of Maya as she discovers courage in the form of breathing and learns how to let go of Worry’s grip.
What we like: We love the captivating tale and stunning visuals. One of the aspects of this book that we admire is how it discusses Maya’s decision to replace concern with courage through calm breathing.
3. The Huge Bag of Worries
Suitable for ages: 2-5
The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside is a lighthearted and encouraging story of Jenny and her giant bag of worries.
What we like: It’s a visual and straightforward method of getting a child to express their anxieties verbally. It is an excellent book to use with anxious kids since it helps them sort out their concerns and make them appear more manageable.
4. Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine
Suitable for ages: 5-8
Julia Cook uses her character Wilma Jean, a well-known “worry machine,” to provide readers with anxiety-coping skills.
What we like: Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine tackles the issue of anxiety in a way that is relatable to kids of all ages. It provides parents and teachers with innovative methods for reducing the degree of anxiety. The book’s purpose is to give kids the tools they need to feel more in control of their fear.
5. Ruby’s Worry
Suitable for Ages: 5+
Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival tells us the story of Ruby, an usually joyful and imaginative young girl, who meets Worry for the first time.
What we like: This kid-friendly narrative is an excellent approach to communicating to kids about anxiety and concern while also emphasizing that there are resources available to help them when they need it.
6. How Big Are Your Worries, Little Bear?
Suitable for ages: 3-9
Jayneen Sanders How Big are Your Worries Little Bear is about the Little Bear who worries about everything! But, with Mama Bear’s guidance, he soon discovers that his concerns aren’t so significant after all.
What we like: Children will learn that they can conquer the ordinary through this exciting and wonderfully drawn narrative. There are also Discussion Questions for parents, carers, educators, and other ideas to assist children in coping with anxiety.
7. Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Poppy O’Neill
Suitable for ages: 7-11
Don’t worry, Be Happy by Poppy O’Neill combines easy exercises with proven cognitive-behavioral treatment approaches used by school psychologists to help your child overcome anxiety.
What we like: It’s for kids ages 7 to 11, because a lot happens in these years that might have a long-term impact on a child’s emotional well-being. It guides little ones through exciting and engaging activities with the help of Fiz – a friendly and helpful character they can relate to. It also includes valuable suggestions, inspirational words, and practical information for parents.
8. 100th Day Worries
Suitable for ages: 5-8
Margery Cuyler’s 100th Day Worries tells us the story of Jessica, who is worried about everything, including what she will bring to class on the 100th Day. And, in the end, with the help of her family, she discovers the solution to her 100th Day worries.
What we like: This book discusses general anxiety in school, giving readers practical solutions for dealing with every day worries.
9. The Don’t Worry Book
Suitable for ages: 3-5
Todd Parr’s The Don’t Worry Book is here to comfort children so that they can take control of their worries! After reassuring them that everyone worries at times, Parr suggests practical, kid-friendly solutions, such as envisioning oneself as a superhero or talking to the people they care about.
What we like: In this book, bright colors and bold lines make learning fun for kids, and it’s supposed to teach children that we all worry from time to time. It reassures that even if they are under stress, there are ways to feel safe while having fun along the way.
10. Wemberly Worried
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Kevin Henkes’ Wemberly Worried tells the story of a mouse who is worried about the first Day of school.
What we like: It discusses the concerns and worries that young children often have when confronted with unexpected settings. The characters are easy to relate to, and it keeps kids interested through its colorful illustrations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Books For Kids With Anxiety
How can I help my child with anxiety?
Many parents attempt to shield anxious children from their concerns, but overprotection can worsen anxiety. The most effective strategy to assist children in overcoming worry is to teach them how to accept it as much as possible. So, if a child is afraid, listen to her and be sympathetic, but also encourage her to believe that she can overcome her anxieties.
It can be beneficial to talk about what would happen if a worry came true—how would she react? For some children, having a plan can be a healthy and effective method to avoid uncertainty.
What causes anxiety in children?
Events in a child’s life can be stressful and tough to deal with. A loss, a significant disease, the death of a loved one, violence, or abuse triggers anxiety. Growing up in a worried or anxious home might “train” a child to be fearful as well.
Can a child outgrow anxiety?
Rather than waiting for your child to “grow out of it” or overcome their worries, an essential thing you can do is assist them in developing appropriate coping mechanisms.
In other words, don’t expect them to improve on their own. Providing your anxious child with the support and assistance they require now will help them succeed later in life.
Having an anxious child may be a heartbreaking experience. As a parent, you need to soothe her and teach her how to relax. Some kids resort to relaxation techniques or reading books for kids with anxiety for their relief.
Anxiety doesn’t have to be crippling; your child can learn to thrive despite the difficulties with the proper care and guidance.