Thursday, 18 January 2018

6 Books to Help Children with Anxiety

Boy sitting on the pavement, engrossed in a book.
Anxiety has become a lot more recognised in children in recent years and it's really not surprising, with everything they are expected to cope with these days. From school SATs tests, and the new, more demanding curriculum, to social media peer pressure, childhood can have a lot of obstacles to negotiate. Children, like adults, can become anxious or stressed for many reasons and it isn't always the result of an underlying condition. It could be something they are worried about or changes they are finding hard to cope with. Books can provide reassurance, as well as open the doors to talking about worries, even for little ones. These books are all recommended by parents. 

This post was inspired by a book that I used to read to L when he was very little. Even little ones can feel anxious, and it is even harder for them to voice their fears, or access their feelings. How Do You Feel, by Mandy Stanley always used to open up a dialogue about feelings and I thought it was a brilliant tool, particularly when he started school. So often a child will come home from school, exhausted after a whole day of learning and playing, only to reply 'nothing' or 'I can't remember' when asked what they did all day! Frustrating for parents and not helpful if anything did crop up during the day, that they've since forgotten about, because that doesn't mean they are not still hurt or upset by what happened, and it may fester if they don't talk about it. Sadly, this particular book is no longer in print and there are just a few used copies left on Amazon. However, there were a few similar-sounding books in the 'customers also viewed' section, which I imagine would follow a similar theme. 

How Do You Feel? book, resting on a white blanket.

Inspired by this book, I asked around some of my blogging friends, to see if they had found any other useful reading material for children of different ages. 

Long Hat is a Hero

Not anxiety specifically, this book is written for children with high sensitivity. It's a lovely book to read, the tag line is "for all the little heroes making their place in a turbulent world." I had anxiety as a child (and still do as an adult) and I think reading it as a child would have helped me when I was younger. - Jenni, from Odd Socks and Lollipops.

Relax Kids Pants of Peace 

I haven’t actually tried it out yet but this book has been highly recommended to me and is full of mindful meditation exercises for children. - Louise, from Pink Pear Bear.

The Panicosaurus

Danielle, from Someone's Mum, recommends The Panicosaurus, which she says offers useful stuff for ASD and neurotypical children.

No Worries!

It's not a storybook but I got my eldest 'No Worries' which is a mindfulness activity book and it's wonderful. There's a companion book called 'Hello Happy' too. - Laura, from Petit Moi - Big World

The Huge Bag of Worries

This is a number 1 bestseller and was recommended to me by a friend. It tells the story of Jenny, who carries all her worries in a big blue bag until she decides enough is enough. 

The Children's Meditations in my Heart

My personal choice is this book, which we first reviewed for our Christmas Gift Guide. The language is aimed at younger children, but it's not hard to adapt it for an older child if you just leave out a few of the fluffy words! It works really well if you read it to the child at bedtime, for a calming, restful sleep. 

The Children's Meditations in my Heart book, resting on a bench.

Whether you are looking for a book to help with a particular worry, or a long term anxiety issue, I really hope it makes a difference. It's a horrible thing to watch a child go through, and sometimes you just want to do something to help.



  1. It must be hard to see a child struggle with anxiety. It's good to know there are books out there that can hopefully make a difference

  2. These sound wonderful. My youngest is a really anxious child and has her SATs this year so I have been thinking about ways to help and these books sound perfect. x

  3. Great suggestions! My daughter has really struggled with anxiety for the last 15 months and I did read a few books on anxiety to try and help her!

  4. Hi Lucy, thankyou so much for featuring my book, 'How Do You Feel?'. It means such a lot to me that you've highlighted it in this interesting and important article as I firmly believe that life for children can be just as challenging as it is for adults. The book, I'm happy to say, won the Early Years Booktrust Award in 2006, All best!

  5. We really need these. Our youngest has had periods of intense anxiety which we're still waiting on assistance with. She's missed nursery & school in the past with this, but we're getting there. Books like these ones really help :)

  6. These sound great for kids that struggle, although I think they should all read them to gain some understanding of their emotions

  7. I'll enter the competition, I am very curious about this book!


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