Fear & Anxiety
Inner Peace & Relaxation
These are books I found useful during lessons about overcoming fear and anxiety. Some are general and others target specific issues.
- Some Things Change by Mary Murphy: A picture book discussing the many ways we deal with change in life, while offering the comfort that some things stay the same. It’s a great book to teach children the concept of change.
- When I Feel Afraid by Cheri J. Meiners: This book is part of her ‘Learning To Get Along’ series. It offers children encouragement as they face fears, both real and imagined using words and illustrations that are supportive in nature. Children will also learn coping strategies such as where to reach out for help from others, as well as simple ways to help themselves.
- Under The Bed by Paul Bright: The story about a young boy’s fears of the creatures hiding out under his bed and how he comes to find out ‘they’ are afraid of something too – him! The writing is humorous and presented in a child friendly manner.
- Berenstain Bears And The Bad Dream by Stan & Jan Berenstain: In typical Bear Country humor, Mama and Papa bear help brother and sister understand what causes bad dreams when they are frightened after watching a scary movie.
- Jiberwillies At Night by Rachel Vail: When a little girl gets frightened by imagined creatures in her bedroom, she is comforted by her mother, who knows just what to do. Her mom helps her catch the jibberwillies and gets rid of them, empowering her daughter to work through her fears and gain confidence to know just what to do should they come back.
- Franklin And The Thunderstorm by Paulette Bourgeois: With the help of his friends, Franklin overcomes his fear of storms. The story presents Franklin doing typical things that children do when they are afraid of thunderstorms so children are able to relate well to his fears.
- The Bears In The Bed And The Great Big Storm by Paul Bright: During a stormy night, a bear family finds out who the biggest scaredy bear is when Papa Bear keeps responding to his three cubs “there’s no such thing as monsters; what a scaredy bear you are” as they climb into bed one by one when they believe the shadows and noises outside are monsters. My son loved this book. Very funny!
- I Miss You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt: It’s the story of a boy who gets anxious when his mother is traveling and while speaking with her on the phone, asks her a series of questions reflecting his worry. She responds to each one with reassuring answers. The writing is amusing and the illustrations colorful and adventurous. This book works well for times when a child might be away from a parent or home.
- Oliver Find His Way by Phyllis Root: Story of a young bear who gets lost while following a blowing yellow leaf. When he realizes he is lost in the woods, he begins to cry but then thinks about what he should do and builds the courage to find his way home.
- It’s A Great Big Beautiful World Out There by Nancy L. Carlson: Shows a girl who realizes although there are many things we can be afraid of in the world in everyday terms, the world is a wonderful thing to discover and not as scary as it might seem. When I got to the last page in the back of the book, there was a little statement from the author stating she wrote the book on Sept. 12, 2001 – a day in which much of the world was dealing with a great deal of fear and anxiety.
These are things we can do to help children work through their fears and anxiety:
- talk with them about what is bothering them ~ identify what is causing it, acknowledge their feelings and help them work through them
- let them know fear and anxiety are natural feelings and everyone has them at times
- teach them to meditate/pray/connect with the spirit world so they know they are never alone
- teach them how to quiet their mind/body with breathing and relaxation exercises
Mini-Book: My Book About Feelings