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Helping children manage their anxiety can be an overwhelming experience for many parents. Fortunately, there are resources to help. This article explores the resources that can help your child learn to manage his or her anxiety in appropriate ways.
Did you know that anxiety in adults can often be traced back to unresolved anxiety in childhood? If left unaddressed, anxiety can become a crippling disorder leading to severe social problems well into adulthood. Children rarely know how to manage their anxiety by themselves and we do not always have the skills to help them address this anxiety.
An anxious child may have unexplained headaches and stomachaches, lack focus and concentration, be hypersensitive, develop nervous tics or behavior such as nail biting, chewing on everything or hair pulling. Persistent worry and unexplained outbursts of anger are also symptoms of anxiety in children.
The Emotions Kit is a resource that can help you break your child’s cycle of anxiety. Drawing on available reserarch, it gives you age-appropriate tools to teach your child about responding to strong emotions such as anxiety in a socially appropriate way.
This kit provides numerous resources to:
- help teach your child about different emotions,
- teach them to identify their triggers, and
- help them identify coping mechanisms they can use to responde to strong emotions in socially appropriate ways.
The resources section has printable resources which provide a great visual aid to help younger children learn to express and manage emotions such as anger and anxiety.
2) Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children
Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children weaves research and common everyday examples to help parents identify common anxiety-enhancing patterns.
It is an awesome resource because it proposes practical exercises and techniques to help both children and parents change their perception of anxiety.
3) What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
What to Do When You Worry Too Much is a self-help guide intended for 6 to 12-year-olds to help them learn to control their anxiety. Written by a psychologist, this interactive book proposes easy-to-follow examples to help your child learn to manage anxiety effectively.
4) Wilma Jean the Worry Machine
Wilma Jean the worry machine is a humorous book that targets young children from approximately ages 5 to 12. It uses examples that children who worry too much are familiar with – for instance pretending to be sick to avoid something they don’t like – to help kids reflect on their experiences and learn how to reduce their anxiety. This simple and entertaining book is easy for kids to understand. There’s also an activity book available.
5) David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety
David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety is a book that uses situations that worry kids (worrying about their parents’ reactions, worrying about upcoming tests) and how they react to them (for example being sick to avoid anxiety-provoking situations). The book teaches kids techniques that can help tame anxiety (David manages to tame his anxiety by confiding in his parents and a school nurse). This is a beautifully illustrated book and is entertaining for 4- to 9- year-olds.
6) Please Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents, 2nd Edition (Growing with Love)
Please Explain Anxiety to Me! uses experiences children can relate to and child-friendly language to teach them about anxiety and how this anxiety manifests itself in their bodies. A dinosaur story makes it easier for children to make the connection between anxiety and the body. The book shows kids that everyone has anxiety and that it is an emotion that can be handled. It also proposes strategies kids can use by themselves to deal with anxiety.
7) When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live with Anxiety
This book gives you an opportunity to help your child explore his or her feelings. It is an easy to read book with highly-relatable information and is adapted for 5- to 9-year-olds. The book provides examples of coping strategies children can use to deal with anxiety and other difficult emotions.
8) Anxiety-Free Kids: An Interactive Guide for Parents and Children (2nd ed.)
This interactive guide provides many evidence-based practical tips to help children and parents deal with anxiety. There are practical exercises and examples of positive reactions adapted to children. The book comes with a parent section and a child section which makes it possible for your child to understand the children’s section and enables you to help him or her accomplish the different phases in the book.
9) Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child’s Fears, Worries, and Phobias
This book helps parents know how to recognize anxiety and when they need to do something about it. Written by a childhood anxiety specialist, the book looks at different ways kids experience anxiety and provides a program to help your child learn to manage his or her emotions safely. It provides a great foundation to understand anxiety in children. The book offers parents simple and easy to apply practices and helpful habits to teach an anxious child.
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