Life is hard. For all of us. But what about our children? What do we do when anxiety takes over? Here are 6 picture books to begin a conversation.
The emotional health of each child is essential for lifetime achievement. But, many struggle with anxiety. Over simple things, it seems. Picture books open a door to a child’s mind. They allow children to know they’re not alone. That their feelings are valid.
By: Davina Bell and Allison Coypoys
Alfie has anxiety with everyday social interactions such as going to a birthday party. He wants to get involved, but he’s too afraid.
Then, at the aquarium, Alfie meets a starfish! One who shines so brightly! And a clownfish who pops by to say hello and swims away. Do either of them have anxiety?
Alfie begins to realize he can be afraid and still make connections. There is a balance, and anxiety doesn’t have to win! This picture book is full of beautiful illustrations.
The Lion Inside
By: Rachel Bright and Jim Field
A tiny mouse is afraid. His anxiety tricks him into thinking he must roar like a lion. So, what to do but to go find one? Turns out, the lion is afraid of mice! Help children learn to speak up in this charming picture book!
Don’t Think About Purple Elephants
By: Susan Whelon and Gwynneth Jones
Sophie’s anxiety came at night. This whimsical picture book suggests a non traditional approach. How to calm fears when nothing seems to help? Hmm. Just whatever you do, don’t think about purple elephants. Oh wait-you can’t. This picture book is based on a scientific approach to combat anxiety.
Jonathan James and the What if Monster
By: Michelle Nelson-Schmidt
Jonathan James can’t escape the what-if monster. It reminds him of all the bad things that can happen. It happens every time Jonathan James wants to try something new. But, Jonathan James then asks his own questions: what if I have fun? What if they don’t laugh? Help your child overcome the anxiety of what-ifs with this picture book!
By: Eric Kimmel and Aiko Ikegami
Full of whimsical color, we follow a cricket and a grasshopper. Cricket always has anxiety. He is always afraid. But, grasshopper never is! Cricket soon learns how to find peace on a journey with his friend.
How Big Are Your Worries, Little Bear
By: Jayneen Sanders and Stephanie Coleman
This picture book follows Little Bear’s anxiety. He is worried about everything! But, his mother soon shows him how to manage his fears. And how to overcome anxiety! This book also contains a guide for parents and teachers for working with a anxious child.