Anxiety in children
Jude just turned 5, and though he’s always had a cautious nature, his anxiety has been worse the past month. I’m sure the current pandemic doesn’t help. His routine has been disrupted, he hasn’t seen a friend in-person in over 4 months, and there’s no more school to go to. I’m familiar with anxiety in children since I’ve had anxiety since I was a little kid too.
Fear of parents dying
Jude’s anxiety is about losing the people he loves. I had the same fear as a child. When my mom was gone, I was afraid something had happened to her. For me, it started after a terrible roll-over car accident my mom was involved in where the car caught on fire a few seconds after she extracted herself and her friend’s unconscious daughter from it. It traumatized me. I was supposed to be in that car but had decided to watch sports on TV with my dad instead.
So yes, I completely sympathize and understand Jude’s fear. Over the past few weeks, we’ve tried a few things to help him with his anxiety. He also wants to play with (and talk to) a therapist, but these books and tips have worked wonderfully for us so far.
5 books to help anxiety in children, on Amazon
How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear?
Little Bear is a worrier. He worries about everything! But with Mama Bear’s help, he soon learns his worries are not so big after all. Through this engaging and beautifully illustrated story, children will learn that everyday worries and fears can be overcome. It just takes a willingness to share with a helpful listener, and an understanding that making mistakes is how we learn. Also included are Discussion Questions for parents, caregivers and educators, and extra hints to help children manage anxiety.
Get it here.
The Worry Box
Murray Bear is supposed to go to the waterfall with his sister, Molly, to meet a friend, but Murray is worried. “What if it’s too LOUD?” he cries “Or what if I get swept away!” So Molly tells him about her special worry box. “When I’m worried about something,” she says, “I write it down, then put it inside.” She offers to help make one for Murray, and he takes it on their journey-but will it really help?
Get it here
What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What-to-Do Guides for Kids)
Did you know that worries are like tomatoes? No, you can’t eat them, but you can make them grow, simply by paying attention to them. If your worries have grown so big that they bother you almost every day, this book is for you.
Get it here.
Ruby Finds a Worry (Big Bright Feelings)
Meet Ruby–a happy, curious, imaginative girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry.
It’s not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . And a little bigger . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about.
But when Ruby befriends a young boy, she discovers that everyone has worries, and not only that, there’s a great way to get rid of them too…
Get it here.
In My Heart
Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness . . . our hearts can feel so many feelings! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside. With language that is lyrical but also direct, toddlers will be empowered by this new vocabulary and able to practice articulating and identifying their own emotions. With whimsical illustrations and an irresistible die-cut heart that extends through each spread, this unique feelings book is gorgeously packaged.
Get it here.
And if you’re willing to spend a bit more, check out Slumberkins. We have a lot of their plushies and books but Alpaca has been amazing to help with anxiety.