It’s sad, but true—our children and grandchildren live in a time of stress. Our fast-paced world can weigh heavy, especially on children. It takes proactive measures to protect our children’s mental health. Some children will experience many more fears than others. Such things as sleeping in the dark, bad dreams, fears of bullying and the like will be bigger challenges for some. But all children harbor some fears and even though they may not verbalize them, it’s a good idea to address the issue of fears, anxieties, and worries. Teens also face high levels of stress and associated fears and anxieties. Here are six books to help your grandchildren overcome their fears.
Logan and the New School by Felicia Morrow
Logan has moved to a new school district and he’s worried about his first day in his new classroom. Will he make friends, will he like his teacher? His older brother helps to allay his fears and encourage Logan to attend his first day with his head held high and with the expectation of a great first day.
The Trick of Being Fearless by Sally Huss, Part of the Happy Book series
Josiah is afraid of literally everything, but most of all Josiah fears being alone. His family is exhausted and frustrated with his constant worries. Then Josiah learns about self talk. He learns to tell himself, “I am brave.” And “I can swallow my scary thoughts.” What a relief it is when Josiah learns to talk his way to courage.
With Your Paw in Mine by Jane Chapman
This sweet book for younger children features a Mama and baby otter. Baby otter is not happy when Mama disappears to look for food. But just one swim away Baby finds a friend. This is a wonderful story with great illustrations on the power of friendship. The two little otter friends learn they can weather big storms together.
When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation book for children who live with anxiety by Kari Dunn Buron
This is a children’s book aimed at kids who struggle with managing their behavior when they are under stressful conditions. The author is an autism resource specialist and has received a spot in the Illinois State University Education Department’s Hall of Fame for her work in development of a rating scale for children’s level of stress. In her system, the child gauges his or her own level of anxiety and worry and gives it a number, then learns relaxation techniques to cope with the problem.
My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic by Michael A. Tompkins, Katherine A. Martinez and Michael Sloan
This is a practical book addressing the very real problems of teens with anxiety and panic attacks. It is based on Cognitive-behavioral Therapy techniques to recognize anxiety and its effects on both physical and mental health. It includes peer to peer stories and episodes of anxiety and ways to practically get the emotions under control. This book won the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapists Self-help Seal of Merit Award.
Seen: Healing Despair and Anxiety in Kids and Teens Through the Power of Connection by Will Hutcherson and Chinwe Williams
This Pastor/Counselor team has come up with a book filled with practical ways to help teens facing anxiety, depression and despair. This research-based book helps uncover the reasons for the destructive feelings beneath the surface of everyday life. It gives parents and other adults practical ways to help teens work through their problems based on the power of connection with others.