Your child’s anxiety about school, the dark or about being away from mum and dad is a normal part of their development. But watching your little ones eyes fill with fear or anxiety is one of the most heart-breaking moments you have to endure as a mum. So, how can you help your kids manage their anxiety?

It’s important as a parent to acknowledge how your child is feeling and give it a name. Explain that what is happening to them is normal and what it means to be anxious or fearful. Encourage them to ask any questions they have about how they are feeling. This type of open communication between you and your little ones will help them understand and manage their anxiety better.

A great way to start this type of conversation is with books or stories. They are a powerful tool that allows you to communicate with your little ones in a calm, simple and fun way. We’ve put together a list of 8 books that you can read and discuss with your kids when they are feeling worried.

Hey Warrior

Kids can do amazing things with the right information. Understanding why anxiety feels the way it does and where the physical symptoms come from is a powerful step in turning anxiety around. Anxiety explained, kids empowered.

This beautifully illustrated book is a wonderful resource to help teach your kids what happens in their bodies when they feel anxious. It also gives them ways to cope with worry when it comes over them.


The Whatifs

Cora is constantly worrying about everything. Because of this, the Whatifs love her. They sneak up to her and give her all kinds of doubts: big or small, silly or frightening, likely or impossible. 

What if my dog runs away? Or what if I forget my homework? What if the sun stops shining?Or what if my crayon breaks? 

As Cora prepares for an upcoming piano recital, the Whatifs cling on tighter and drag her down, making her anxious about messing up during the concert. Will she be able to change her worry-filled thoughts into hopeful ones? Find out in this timely picture book about overcoming anxiety. 

The Whatifs give your little readers a great visual representation of what their worries and anxiety can look or feel like. The message that your negative whatifs can be turned into positive whatifs, is simple but powerful. A great read for your little readers and for the mums and dads who have a few whatifs of their own.


Ruby Finds a Worry

Meet Ruby — a happy, curious, imaginative young girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry. It’s not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . and a little bigger . . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about. 

But when Ruby befriends a young boy, she discovers that everyone has worries, and not only that, there’s a great way to get rid of them too . . . she just has to share her feelings.

The bright illustrations and simple messages of this book allow you to start a conversation with your budding readers. Tom Percival’s book beautifully reminds your little ones that they are not alone. They can manage their worries by talking about them with someone they love.


Wilma Jean the Worry Machine

Wilma Jean worries about everything. She worries about missing the bus, doing a math problem wrong, having friends to play with, and getting carrots in her school lunch. Wilma Jean’s teacher helps her figure out what worries she can control and those that she can’t and what to do about both types of worries

This fun and humorous book is highly relatable for children of all ages who are dealing anxiety. It offers easy to follow and creative strategies for parents and teachers to use to help lessen the severity of anxiety. It lets the reader know there is way to manage and control their worries.


Don’t Think About Purple Elephants

Sometimes Sophie worries – not during the day when she is busy with family and friends, but at night when everything is calm and quiet. Her family all try to help, but somehow they just make her worries worse. Until her mother thinks of a new approach … that might just involve an elephant or two! But wait, don’t think about purple elephants, whatever you do! Whimsical and humorous, this little girl’s story of finding a way to ease her worry will resonate with children and parents everywhere. 

This charming book with colorful illustrations is a perfect bedtime read for those little readers who feel their anxiety more at nighttime. This book offers a wonderful way to calm your kids (and yourselves) before they go to bed.


When Worry Takes Hold

One night just before the lights went out, Worry snuck into Maya’s mind. Worry grew bigger and bigger until there was no space left for anything else. Just darkness and fear. Join Maya as she finds Courage, through the form of a calming breath, and learns how to break free from Worry’s hold.

This beautifully illustrated book is perfect for young and old worriers alike that need reassurance that its possible to manage your anxiety. It explains what happens when you feel worried and how you can tell it to go away.


The Invisible String

In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they’re all connected by an invisible string. “That’s impossible!” the children insist, but still they want to know more: “What kind of string?” The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? This heartwarming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us, and opens up deeper conversations about love.

This beautiful book is especially helpful for little ones who are dealing with separation anxiety or have experienced loss or grief. It reassures your little ones fact that whatever is happening in their lives, they are never alone.


My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

Do YOU have the magic breath

Let’s see…Take a deeeeeep breath in…and BLOW it out…

…and like magic, you can feel better just by breathing! Sometimes it’s hard to feel happy. But with this interactive picture book, children breathe along as they learn how to make angry or sad thoughts disappear.

In a world that is sometimes too busy, with too many things going on, My Magic Breath will help steer children into a serene space of mindfulness, self-awareness, and balance.

This is a perfect picture book that introduces easy techniques that your little ones can follow to help them manage their worries. It starts with a breath in….and out.


Let us know what your favourite book is that you like to read with your little ones that helps them calm down when they are anxious. Leave a comment below or join the conversation in the Melville Mums Facebook group.

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Author: Melville Mums