All kids worry at some time, and some children struggle with anxious feelings on a regular basis. This collection of books features books that teachers and parents can use to open discussion with children about feeling worried, with most also including ideas that children can try to manage anxious feelings.
Worries Go Away! by Kes Gray: A simple story about facing worries, suitable for younger children. Told through engaging rhyme, this book emphasises the importance of turning to people who care when you feel worried.
Jack’s Worry by Sam Zuppardi: This book takes a common worry for children, performing in their first concert experience, and explores worry around the upcoming event through simple story and lovely illustrations.
Is A Worry Worrying You? by Ferida Wolff: I really like this book although it might be a little dark for very young children strugging with anxiety. It talks about worries with humour and imagination and includes a number of strategies for helping manage worries. A great tool for oepning discussion about worries with children in the first grades of primary/elementary school.
The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside: I want to love this book, it has so many great messages in it and it’s a great introduction to worries for younger children but I don’t particularly like that the first worry for Jenny, the primary character, mentioned on the second page of the book was “She worried that she was getting too fat.” We try not to focus on physical appearance with our girls, especially not weight. Despite our personal, parenting choice, the book offers an engaging introduction to worries for young children as Jenny tries a number of different strategies in an attempt to rid herself of the big bag of worries she carries around each day.
The Worry Monsters (Hey Jack! series) by Sally Rippin: Part of the Hey Jack! chapter book series for early readers, The Worry Monsters tells the story of what happens when Jack doesn’t want to study for his spelling test – because he hates spelling! Touches on a sore tummy as a symptom of worrying and Jack also imagines his worries as monsters at bedtime, the story turns when Jack confides his worries to his Dad who helps him find a solution, also Jack talks back to his worries as he won’t let them worry him any more.
Available via Amazon
What to Do When You Worry Too Much by Dawn Huebner: This book is my favourite on the list. It was a great resource for my eight year old, and I could see it being helpful for 6-7 year olds through to 11-12 year olds. It talks clearly about what worries are, how they make you feel and clearly explains a range of options for managing worries – from using logic to talking back to worries (self talk), and physical activity to relaxation.
A Smart Girl’s Guide to Worry: How to Feel Less Stressed and Have More Fun by Nancy Holyoak: Part of American Girl’s Smart Girls series, this book shares lots of information about worries and anxiety in bite sized pieces just right for tweens. With sections covering symptoms of stress, self talk, perfection, facing fears, self care and managing stress and anxiety, it’s a really helpful resource for children aged 9+ who are experiencing worry or anxiety.
Keep Your Cool: How to Deal With Life’s Worries and Stress by Dr Aaron Balick: A very detailed books for older tweens and teen, it covers a wide range of topics that might cause stress or anxiety including family problems, school issues, friendship problems, bullies, sexuality and cyber issues.
Available via The Book Depository
Parents of younger children, you might also like to check out the Worry Eaters!
Check out our other Managing Big Emotions posts…