Books to help anxious kids in tough times
With all that is going on in today’s world, kids are getting bombarded with things that they have never had to deal with before. They have been pulled out of what they are used to (structure, school, friends, connections) and are being handed a lot of unknowns. Whether they can voice it or not, many of them are anxious and asking questions like:
“What will school look like this fall?”
“Will I get sick?”
“Will my mom or dad find another job?”
As adults, we are trying to understand and deal with our own feelings with what is going on around us -- and it is hard even for us!
For my own self-care, I’ve stopped watching the news and really tried to focus on my family right now and enjoy this extra time with them. But, no matter how much we think we are able to hide our stresses and anxieties from them, kids can pick up on so much.
Even in my own family, my 7-year-old will randomly come up to me and ask, “Mommy, when will we be able to see our friends?” and “Why is everyone afraid to go anywhere?” She is my thinker. We have had some great conversations about everything that has been happening and it has allowed us to be able to talk through some of her fears and come up with ways to deal with them.
Likewise, as soon as e-learning started, my 8-year-old suffered an upset stomach. At first, I just chalked it up to fighting a stomach bug, but the longer it went on, the more I started to realize it could be something else. She has always struggled with anxiety and is just now being able to learn to recognize physical signs of worry and how they can help her learn her triggers and when to start practicing her coping strategies.
One thing I use with my kids to learn more about their feelings are books, which are an amazing tool to use with children! When a child reads a book about something, and can identify with what they read, they can start making connections and processing their feelings. This is so important, especially now. We do story time before bed each night and I’ve been able to use some of the books in my stash during this time to help my kids understand their feelings better. They have been great reminders for me too!
Here are some helpful resources to use during this time to help open the door to kid’s thoughts and feelings so that they can process them better:
The Ant Hill Disaster by Julia Cook -- This book talks about how things happen that we don’t always have control over, and how we have to learn to deal with them and find a way to keep moving on. It also focuses on learning to work with others and coming together to find a way to move forward.
Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine by Julia Cook -- This is a great book to teach kids about worrying, how it affects their body and how they can learn to recognize when they start to get nervous. It helps them learn to begin to put their coping strategies in place.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst -- This book discusses the unbreakable connection between children and loved ones no matter how far away they are or how often they see them.
Anxious Abby and the Camp Trust Challenge by Alyssa Cathers -- This is a great Biblically-based book that talks about carrying worries around with you and learning how to move through fears and worries using God’s Word.
These are just a few of the resources we have to help you and your kids navigate these tough times. If you are struggling in your parenting, or your kids are having a hard time coping, give us a call.
At Sanctuary Christian Counseling, we help grieving individuals, distressed KIDS AND TEENS and couples in conflict find peace, solutions and connection.
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The Ant Hill Disaster, by Julia Cook
Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine, by Julia Cook
The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst
Anxious Abby and the Camp Trust Challenge, by Alyssa Cathers