Anxiety is never easy to deal with, be it in adults or children. The current phase is such that you can’t avoid conversations that are not so pleasant & positive. The world is crippled with the COVID crisis and whether we want it or not but we end up discussing the issues and challenges at home that our children get to hear. I know, we all are trying our best to be positive and upbeat in front of our kids, keeping them engaged and happy but then it’s not easy for them as it’s not easy for us.
I am no expert in this field but I have had the first-hand experience in dealing with severe anxiety in my son a few years back when I met with a fatal accident that took me months to recover. I won’t even say, I have learned to deal with it as I know neither me nor my son has gone back to our fearless self yet.
Though one thing that I learned very strongly during that phase was – anxiety in kids needs to be dealt in the same way as we expect it for us, it needs to be acknowledged and it needs to be understood. Don’t ridicule the child if he or she is getting anxious, don’t say things like – “you’re worrying unnecessarily,” or “don’t be a coward”, rather accept that anxiety exists for real, it’s not something to be overlooked. Try to understand the underlying cause and then address the same. Most importantly try to get the child’s attention diverted to something that he/she enjoys – it could be reading, painting, watching a movie together or anything that can ease the worry out. These helped me a lot as a mother. Of course, if you think the issue is serious and beyond your control, seek professional help from counselors.
On that note, let me share some of the interesting storybooks that I had read to my son on anxiety and worrying. I know storybooks can’t be a solution to deeper issues but as I said, in my experience, children learn a lot if they hear any suggestion in a story format:
Wilma Jean The Worry Machine:
This is one of my favorite books on this topic, as not only the story is well narrated but it also presents some interesting solutions to tackle the worry. The language is fun and illustrations are eye-catching, Wilma Jean is a character that many growing kids can associate with. Btw, I am not sure if it’s legal or not, but I saw some very interesting videos of the read-aloud session of this book. During the current lockdown phase, you may even give those youtube videos a try.
Author: Julia Cook
Illustrator – Anita DuFalla
Suitable for – 6 to 12 years
Available on Amazon here.
Yet another fantastic book on coping up with excessive worrying in kids. While it’s a picture book with cute illustrations but the messaging and tools mentioned in this group are good for teens and young adults too. This book also explains the physical symptoms related to anxiety that we often ignore. With the right information and right explanation, kids can actually do a lot more and cope up with bigger things in life confidently. Price-wise this might be an expensive book, so better to find it in your nearest library.
Author: Karen Young
Illustrator: Norvile Dovidonyte
Suitable for: 6 to 12 years
Available on Amazon here.
Even Monsters Are Afraid:
A very cute book to calm the worry and fear of darkness in kids through a fun story. This book highlights how even monsters get afraid at night and how their worry is nothing but just a worry. Available as an e-book in Kindle Unlimited (India) subscription, this one is a great read for younger kids below 8 years of age group. If your child gets scared at night, trust me he/she might feel like a hero after reading this story.
Author: Yonit Werber
Suitable for: 3 to 8 years
Available on Amazon here and currently free with Kindle Unlimited.
Btw, the word monster reminds me of the MONSTER DOODLE that I did as part of #30days30doodles for kids during this lockdown phase. I can’t tell you how happy I am to receive such happy response to this doodling fun – hundreds of designs mailed by kids from India and abroad, now what else can I ask for as my reward for taking out time to do these doodle prompts for kids every day? Thank you to every child and parent out there who has participated in this fun challenge.
In case you would like to know more about it, read the post here. To keep receiving the daily prompt, visit our Facebook and Instagram page and keep viewing the doodle done by kids, check the highlight section on Kiddingly’s Instagram page.
So, which one is your favorite book when it comes to dealing with anxiety and worry in your child? Let me know in the comment section below and I would be happy to include it in the post as your recommendation.