It’s understandable that today’s youth (and many adults) are experiencing elevated levels of anxiety and stress. Anxiety may be a natural reaction to many everyday pressures, but it’s crucial for all of us, especially children, to learn to regulate our fears so that we can feel safe, think rationally, and make good decisions that meet our immediate and long-term needs. The books we recommend below will help your students or children understand their emotions and provide them with methods to help them stay calm, focused, and empowered to face the challenges ahead, whether anxiety is a regular part of their lives or not. Fear is inevitable, but equipped with these books, children can face it head-on.
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Books For Kids Who Worry Too Much: An Anxiety, Fear, And Worry Reduction Reading List
Cora can’t seem to shake the anxious “What if?” thoughts that keep popping into her head. They are sly little critters who like making her worry about everything from the smallest things (what if my crayon breaks?) to the largest (what if my dog goes away?). Cora’s What-if fears are especially bad backstage before her piano performance. Luckily, Cora’s friend Stella helps her realize that not all “What if” scenarios are doom and gloom, and she is able to overcome her stage fright and perform, even after hitting a false note. The Whatifs By Emily Kilgore is the perfect way to reassure children that they will be fine even if the Whatifs come true. It introduces real-life cognitive behavioral therapy techniques in a lighthearted manner.
Camila prefers to play just “hide” when the game of hide-and-seek is on the table, and she excels at it. When she’s anxious, which is always, she does that. She is concerned that the school bus will be late, that she will be unable to answer the teacher’s questions, and that she will be left alone at recess. Her “what if” anxieties seem to follow her everywhere she goes. Camila’s already nervous about going on an aquarium field trip with the rest of her class, but she feels better as she learns that at least one of her classmates has similar concerns. It turns out that letting your guard down enough to assist another person is a great way to calm your own anxious thoughts. Trudy Ludwig, an expert in social and emotional development, and Patrice Barton, who has won several awards for her picture book illustrations, worked together to write and draw a charming and inspiring story about the courage it takes to stand up for yourself and the people you care about every day.
There’s nothing Maya can do to prevent worry from taking over her thoughts and eventually paralyzing her with anxiety. Maya’s worry (shown in the drawings as a jumbled scribble) prevents her from appreciating even the simplest pleasures in life, and this is the moral of this allegorical narrative about overcoming anxiety. Then, after some practice, Maya realizes that she can call upon her courage, symbolized by sparkles, to help her get through her fears, but this doesn’t put an end to worry forever. Both worriers and non-worriers may benefit from When Worry Takes Hold By Liz Haske.
Ruby’s anxiety escalates to the point that it consumes her mind. Prompt students to share experiences of dealing with this situation and provide solutions.
When it comes to novels about children’s fears about attending public school, this one stands out as a classic. Young readers will empathize with Wemberly as she experiences and overcomes her anxiety about beginning school.