11 Books To Help Your Child Understand Anxiety

by Meg Kehoe

Anxiety can be difficult to comprehend as an adult, so trying to explain it to a child can be doubly as difficult. Without an explanation as to why they're feeling nervous, anxious, or afraid about something, children will assume that the feelings are normal, because they don't know any differently. Finding a way to help your child understand anxiety can help change the way they learn to combat and cope with their anxiety. And what better way to help your children learn than through books? By integrating books to help your child understand anxiety into the family bookshelf, you'll be helping everyone to better understand why anxiety happens, and how everyone around can help each other through.

Rather than writing off your child's anxiety as an irrational fear, or being a worrywart, why not explore the depths of their anxiety together? According to Worry Wise Kids, "children usually believe their level of fear is an accurate reflection of how dangerous a situation is, instead of knowing that their fear is a reaction to thinking scary thoughts about a situation." In order to help reshape your child's view of their anxiety, and help them cultivate an understanding of what is their anxiety talking to them, and what is a rational fear, you first need to help them understand what anxiety is. With the help of the following books, you and your child will be able to better comprehend what kind of anxiety your child may dealing with, and how you can work together to combat it.


'What To Do When You Worry Too Much' by Dawn Huebner

What To Do When You Worry Too Much is an interactive self-help book designed to motivate and empower your children as they learn the ins and outs of generalized anxiety. Putting anxiety in easy to understand language and situations, children will be able to take this book and work through their anxiety, one step at a time.

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'Cool Cats, Calm Kids' by Mary Williams

A practical and humorous guide to relaxation and stress management for kids, Cool Cats, Calm Kids uses the life of cats to teach children how to better cope with their anxieties.

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'Ready... Set... R.E.L.A.X.' by Jeffrey Allen & Roger Klein

Through music, storytelling, and muscle relaxation, Ready... Set... R.E.L.A.X. teaches children how to channel their energy into relaxing activities when they're feeling anxious. Through the many techniques in the book, children will learn how to cope with their anxiety through learning, imagination, and self-esteem.

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'What To Do When You're Scared And Worried' by James J. Crist

What To Do When You're Scared and Worried is the perfect resource for your child to turn to when they're experiencing their own anxiety. Sometimes, it can be difficult for children to talk to adults about their anxiety. This book provides advice, reassurance, and ideas for how to work through their anxiety, helping children equip themselves with the proper coping mechanisms to get through each day.

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'Wilma Jean The Worry Machine' by Julia Cook

Wilma Jean The Worry Machine is a fun and humorous book that makes talking about anxiety accessible to children of all ages. Through Wilma Jean's worries, children will learn how to control their fears, and how to let go of the things they cannot control, all while having a good laugh.

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'Wemberly Worried' by Kevin Henkes

In Wemberly Worried, Wemberly worries about everything. From spilling her juice, to snakes in the radiator, there's nothing Wemberly doesn't have a worry for. Especially worried about the first day of school, children will follow along with Wemberly's journey, and realize that wasting time worrying only gets in the way of how fun life can really be.

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'When My Worries Get Too Big' by Kari Dunn Buron

In When My Worries Get Too Big, children can engage in learning self-calming activities and coping mechanisms, all in a very accessible way. With charming illustrations and plenty of scenarios to consider, your child will be a pro at tackling situations that make them anxious in no time at all.

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'Little Mouse's Big Book Of Fears' by Emily Gravett

Little Mouse's Big Book Of Fears follows the story of a little mouse who is afraid of just about everything. Throughout the story, the little mouse learns that people have fears no matter how big they are, and that some fears are fears you can overcome.

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'Is A Worry Worrying You?' by Frida Wolff

Though most adults think of childhood as a carefree time, the truth is that children have plenty of worries. Is A Worry Worrying You? addresses children's worries with humor and imagination, and teaches children how to use perspective in any scenario they may find themselves in, so they learn not to let their anxiety get the best of them.

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'Don't Panic, Annika' by Juliette Clare Bell

In Don't Panic, Annika!, children learn alongside Annika that the panic you may feel in certain situations isn't always necessary, and that there are ways you can handle your panic in order to get through things without too much worry and strife.

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'David And The Worry Beast' by Anne Marie Guanci

In David And The Worry Beast, kids follow along with David as he's unable to let go of the fact that he missed a basket at the end of a big game. Worried that it might happen again, David's worry becomes an unmanageable beast. But with of his parents and the school nurse, David learns how to overcome his worry beast, and get back on track.

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