Anxiety and worry can creep up on your kids when you least suspect it. Luckily there’s a solid stable of books that parents can turn to as they help their little ones better cope.
And books can be especially useful for kids when talking about conditions like anxiety, said Natasha Daniels, child therapist and author of How To Parent Your Anxious Toddler and Anxiety Sucks! A Teen Survival Guide.
“I do think kids learn through stories so either if a child has a hard time talking about it or if we want to normalize it, it’s super helpful to say, ‘Look, it’s in this book,’” she told HuffPost. “When we distance it and it’s not about the child, it’s just about this character in this book.”
Casey Strenski, a registered associate marriage and family therapist, is the clinical program director of Los Angeles’ Mindful Heart Kids, which offers therapeutic programs for children. She echoed Daniels’ idea and described children’s books as “a really good tool” to help kids learn about their feelings, especially when they can turn to the visuals for added context.
HuffPost put together a list of helpful titles, a mix of recommendations from therapists, counselors, psychologists and other mental health experts as well as some other notable books of the past few years.
Some are fictionalized accounts that highlight common worrisome scenarios like the first day of school, while others are workbooks that offer coping strategies for kids with anxiety. Check them out below.