Worry flares up at different times in the year for children, whether it be SATs, the weekly spelling test, or simply a first day back at school after a long holiday. It’s natural for all children to worry at times but what can the adults in their life do to help them conquer worry?
Here are our top 10 books to help your children manage what’s worrying them.
1. Is a Worry Worrying You?
Age range: 4 – 8 years Review: ‘Adults think of childhood as a carefree time, but the truth is that children worry, and worry a lot, especially in our highly pressurised era. This book addresses children’s worries with humour and imagination, as hilarious scenarios teach kids the use of perspective and the art of creative problem-solving’. – Find out more! Ferida Wolff, Harriet May Savitz, Marie LeTourneau. Tanglewood Publishing, Inc. 2005.
2. I have a Worry
Age range: 3 – 14 Review: ‘A beautiful story that begins to share strategies about how children can handle worries when they sit on their shoulder. The language is perfect for children of all ages, sharing a gentle but extremely important message about anxiety.’ – Find out more! Tanya Balcke. Self Published, 2015.
3. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark
Age range: 5+ years Review: ‘Plop is a baby Barn Owl who hates the dark… but as he meets all the different characters in the book, he overcomes his fears and learns the reasons why darkness is wonderful and important! A book young readers will love.’ – Find out more! Jill Tomlinson, Egmont UK, 2014.
4. David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety
Age range: 4 – 9 years Review: ‘Learning to deal with anxiety is an important step in a child’s healthy emotional growth. Conquering fears, and not avoiding them, is the lesson imparted in this story. David could not stop thinking about the basket he had missed at the end of the big game…’ – Find out more! Anne Marie Guanci, Caroline Attia. New Horizon Press, 2007.
5. Don’t Panic, Annika
Age range: 3+ Review: ‘Annika always panics. She panics when her coat zip gets stuck on the way to a party. She panics when she can’t find her favourite toy at bedtime. Her mum, dad and brother try to help her learn how to stay calm and think her way through a problem’… Find out more! Juliet Clare Bell, Jennifer Morris. Piccadilly, 2011.
6. Hey Warrior
Age range: 5 – 10 years Review: ‘Kids can do amazing things with the right information. Understanding why anxiety feels the way it does and where the physical symptoms come from is a powerful step in turning anxiety around. Anxiety explained, kids empowered.’ – Find out more! Karen Young, Norvile Dovidonyte. Little Steps Publishing, 2018.
7. When My Worries Get Too Big
Age range: 5 – 10 years Review: ‘Engaging and easy to read, this illustrated children’s book is filled with opportunities for children to participate in developing their own self-calming strategies. Children who use the simple strategies in this charming book, illustrated by the author, will find themselves relaxed and ready to focus on work or play!’ – Find out more! Kari Dunn Buron, AAPC Publishing, 2013.
8. The Worry Website
Age range: 9 – 11 years Review: ‘Is anything bothering you? Problems in class or at home? Don’t know where to turn for help? Log on to the Worry Website! Type in your worry and wait for the good advice to flow in.’ – Find out more! Jacqueline Wilson, Nick Sharratt. Yearling 2008.
9. What to Do When You Worry Too Much
Age range: 6 – 12 years Review: ‘What to Do When You Worry Too Much is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioural techniques most often used in the treatment of generalised anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. It includes a note to parents by psychologist and author Dawn Huebner, PhD.’ – Find out more! Dawn Huebner, Bonnie Matthews. Magination Press, 2005.
10. Wilma Jean the Worry Machine
Age range: 5 – 8 years Review: ‘This fun and humorous book addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety. The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety.’ – Find out more! Julia Cook. National Center for Youth Issues, 2012.