This post contains affiliate links. Also, I’m not a doctor so, if your child struggles with anxiety, please consult your child’s doctor or therapist.
I read recently that anxiety disorders affect one in eight children so, while searching for some books for my own children, I thought it would be beneficial to share the list with other parents who may be looking for some good resources. I’ve linked them all below, with the ages they are recommended for, so you can check them out more and see if they would be something that may help your child. If you have any other book suggestions I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (Ages: 8-12)
“What to Do When You Worry Too Much” is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. It includes a note to parents by psychologist and author Dawn Huebner, PhD.
Master of Mindfulness: How to Be Your Own Superhero in Times of Stress (Ages: 5-12)
Faster than a speeding spitball, more powerful than a playground bully, able to breeze through homework and finish nightly chores in a single bound, it’s Master of Mindfulness—here to conquer stress, worry, and any trouble that comes your child’s way! Master of Mindfulness is a unique and empowering book written for kids by kids, with cool illustrations and tips that show kids how to be confident, get focused, stay calm, and tap into their own inner strength so that they can be their own superhero—no matter what life throws their way!
But What If?: A Book About Feeling Worried (Our Emotions & Behaviors Series) (Ages: 4-8)
Daisy’s family is moving, and Daisy is very worried. What if she doesn’t like her new home? What if her cat runs away? What if her new teacher isn’t nice? A conversation with her grandpa helps Daisy learn that many worries don’t come true—and if one does, someone will be there to help her solve the problem. The Our Emotions and Behavior series uses cheerful brightly illustrated stories to help kids understand how their emotions and actions are related—and how they can learn to manage both. At the end of each book, a two-page series of pictures invites kids to tell a story in their own words. A special section for adults suggests discussion questions and ideas for guiding children to talk about their feelings.
Bubble Riding: A Relaxation Story (Ages: 4-11)
Bubble Riding is a story that teaches children how to use visualizations to relax, calm down, and lower stress. A sea child and turtle take children on a relaxing bubble ride through the ocean. Children visualize filling and relaxing their mind and body with the colors of the rainbow. Children learn a fun visualization technique as they imagine filling and relaxing their mind and body with the colors of the rainbow. A sea child and turtle take children on a bubble ride through the ocean and into the world of relaxation. Visualization, also known as creative imagery, can lower stress and anxiety levels. Visualizing is the ability to form a mental image of, or use your imagination. This technique can have a positive impact on your child’s overall health, creativity, and performance.
It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox) (Ages: 4-8)
Whether we like it or not, growing up brings change. For many children, this conjures fears that are sometimes real and sometimes imagined. How can kids learn that even when they face new and unfamiliar situations, they don’t have to be afraid? Little Seed and Little Fox are facing changes and brand new circumstances—and they don’t like it one bit! Through this unlikely friendship, children will discover that no matter how new or fearful their circumstances, God is always with them. The whimsical art by Natalia Moore will put a smile on kids’ faces and put their minds at ease. Just as Little Seed and Little Fox learn to trust that the Farmer is good and kind, children will also learn to trust God.
What to Do When You’re Scared and Worried: A Guide for Kids (Ages: 9-13)
From a dread of spiders to panic attacks, kids have worries and fears, just like adults. This is a book kids can turn to when they need advice, reassurance, and ideas. They’ll find out where fears and worries come from, practice Fear Chasers and Worry Erasers, and learn to seek help for hard-to-handle fears they can’t manage on their own.
Wilma Jean the Worry Machine (Ages: 5-8)
Anxiety is a subjective sense of worry, apprehension, and/or fear. It is considered to be the number one health problem in America. Although quite common, anxiety disorders in children are often misdiagnosed and overlooked. Everyone feels fear, worry and apprehension from time to time, but when these feelings prevent a person from doing what he/she wants and/or needs to do, anxiety becomes a disability. This fun and humorous book addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety. The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety. For those worries that are not in anyones control (i.e. the weather,) a worry hat is introduced. A fun read for Wilmas of all ages!
Please Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents, 2nd Edition (Growing With Love) (Ages: 5-8)
This book translates anxiety from the jargon of psychology into concrete experiences that children can relate to. Children and their parents will understand the biological and emotional components of anxiety responsible for the upsetting symptoms they experience. Please Explain Anxiety to Me, 2nd Edition gives accurate physiological information in child friendly language. A colorful dinosaur story explains the link between brain and body functioning, followed by practical therapeutic techniques that children can use to help themselves.
Outsmarting Worry: An Older Kid’s Guide to Managing Anxiety (Ages: 9-13)
Worry has a way of growing, shifting from not-a-big-deal to a VERY BIG DEAL in the blink of an eye. This big-deal Worry is tricky, luring children into behaviours that keep the anxiety cycle going. Children often find it hard to fight back against Worry, but not anymore. Outsmarting Worry teaches 9-13 year olds and the adults who care about them a specific set of skills that makes it easier to face – and overcome – worries and fears. Smart, practical, proven techniques are presented in language immediately accessible to children with an emphasis on shifting from knowing to doing, from worried to happy and free.
Here’s an updated list of books for 2020: https://makingtimeformommy.com/2020/10/02/books-for-kids-feeling-worried-anxious/
13 thoughts on “Books For Kids Who Struggle With Anxiety”
These sound like great reads for any kid who struggles with anxiety. Anxiety is tough enough for adults to get through. Enduring it as a child, must be incredibly difficult. Books like these can give kids a safe-feeling way to process things that are too big for them.
This is definitely something I need to consider. I worry sometimes that my son does have anxiety and he could use all the help you can get. Thank you for this article because I am going to try some of these books with him.
Anxiety can be hard for adults so I can’t imagine how hard it may be for children! These books are a great way to help curb children’s anxiety.
This is such a great list. I don’t think a lot of parents realize their kids are acting out because of anxiety. This is a great way to discuss it with them.
This is such an amazing resource. My twins are adopted and experienced a TON of horrible things before moving in with us. Because of that, they have a ton of anxiety over things you can’t even imagine. I will be picking up some of these books to help them! Thank you soooo much!
I taught preschool for almost 20 years. I see a lot of familiar titles on that list. I love the fact that books can play a part in easing a child’s anxiety and fears.
Great list of books! I’m sure they are super helpful, which is so beneficial to the children and parents.
These all look like great books to help kids with anxiety. Every parent should have at least one of these.
Oh these are perfect! Anxiety is such a common thing and it’s a good idea to have tools to speak to your kids about it and help them to feel as though they are not alone. Having anxiety myself I would have really appreciated this as a child.
These books are really nice. Sometimes my kids worry a lot too. Hope these books will help them
We found one called “Jack’s Worry”, by Sam Zuppardi through our local library. It’s good for kids age 4-7 or so, and helped my really anxious daughter understand the concept of speaking what her worry was, out loud to me.
Thanks for this list… I’ve put a few of them on hold to check out soon!
Thank you for this list! I’m always looking for more on this topic. My book, Quinn’s Promise Rock’ also addresses anxiety from a faith-based perspective (similar to ‘It will be okay’). Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing a copy!