I'd like to share with you a couple of books that do a nice job of introducing new ways for both parents and kids to talk about making worries manageable and far less frightening.
When I Feel Worried By Cornelia Maude Spelman and Kathy Parkinson is a wonderful book designed for children ages 3 to 6. In her preface, "Notes to Parents and Teachers", Spelman offers her wisdom, insights and a few helpful strategies for involved adults to follow. Filled with colorful drawings that accurately reflect what it looks like to experience uncertainty, fear or anxiety, Spelman includes simple "child friendly" words that highlight potential anxiety generating events, words and challenges any child might experience. Our young character describes the many things that worry him but also shares how he handles his discomfort by using simple strategies. A sweet book that provides a valuable spring board for future conversations.
Wilma Jean the Worry Machine By Julia Cook. Another home run book for Julia Cook. Using humor, silly pictures and moving words, Cook offers kids ages 7 to 11 a new way of dealing with the anxiety that happens when one is uncertain of what is to come. I love this book because it easily focuses on and then deescalates potential fears that come from everyday living through the use of humor. One of her useful strategies….a worry hat!
What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids) By Dawn Huebner is designed for older children, ages 6 to 12, and provides easy to read, practical strategies and new ways to think, helping kids to work through their fears and anxiety. Dr. Huebner defines this as an interactive book where parents can easily put to practice many strategies while working directly with their child. her goal is for your child to become empowered and able to halp themselves. This is an easy to use book and one I strongly encourage parents to consider.
Everyone gets scared or anxious. But if fears and anxiety are keeping your child from truly experiencing their life to the fullest, you need to take a moment to stop and listen to your child. And then, after you have let them know that you heard them, you care and that you want to work with them to make things better, read one of these books together. They provide an easy access into a meaningful conversation and change for both you and your child.