Anxiety is very common in children, and how anxiety manifests can vary a lot. Some anxieties may be the typical fears that children commonly face. In other cases, the anxiety may relate to particularly stressful circumstances, to separation anxiety, a phobia, or (less commonly) an anxiety disorder. 

How to best approach an anxious child

It helps if we can stay calm and be reassuring, as our own fears can otherwise worsen the situation. Getting down to the same level, making reassuring eye contact, and holding hands if you can, can all really help. Storyberries offers free children’s books on anxiety, and parenting tips to help parents support an anxious child.

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Showing empathy

Anxiety is fear, so it helps for children to know that we understand and that we also feel fear sometimes. Once your child is calmer, you can give thought to possible solutions.


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Being calming and soothing

Taking deep breaths together – breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Calming with words may, or may not, help – when we are feeling very anxious we don’t always hear what is being said to us. 

Giving a hug can also be a useful way to calm the nervous system – through a reassuring hug we can transmit a sense of tranquility and safety.


Anxiety: Helping kids cope with feelings of anxiety. Storyberries offers parenting tips

Creating an action plan

You can help make a positive action plan with the child on what to do if the anxiety comes back again. Depending on the context (home, school etc.) the plan may involve breathing exercises, taking a short walk outside or drawing a picture. There are lots of possibilities.
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Encouraging kids to talk

Helping kids to identify negative thoughts. Storybooks are a really good way to discuss feelings, and so too is drawing. Listening and encouraging children to express their fears allows them to understand that we are all vulnerable, and that feeling afraid does not equate to being weak.
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Support for parents

Seeing your child suffer from anxiety can be very painful, frustrating and confusing. Parents usually wonder at some point if they are the cause of their child’s anxiety. Research shows that anxiety is often the result of multiple factors. Whatever the cause of your child’s anxiety, you can help ease it. You can also help your child to develop good coping and self-care skills. As with any childcare issue, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help.

 

Some Free Books About Anxiety and Fear At Storyberries

Best free books at Storyberries
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Scared Tumi

“Everybody gets scared. Mama says it’s okay. In this lovely, simple story, Tumi talks about the different things that scare him while his Mama reminds him that he is reassures him with her kind words and loving presence.
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Ollie is Scared

Sometimes anxiety arises out of very real events that are happening to kids. In this story Ollie feels sick and too scared to go to school because he is afraid of being bullied. His mum helps him to talk about his feelings..Then they meet his teacher and together they come up with a good plan that helps all the children.
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I Am Not Afraid!

In this delightful story, with gorgeous illustrations, a young girl faces her fear of the dark and discovers she has lots of courage!

Article by Luzmery M. Romero Gamboa and Fleur Rodgers

Luzmery Child Psychologist Storyberries

Luzmery works in the area of clinical psychology as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents and families. Since 2016, she has run a Psychological Center in Venezuela called Psicoluz. She offers workshop facilitations to parents, is involved in recreational activities for children, and has been working as a freelancer since 2017 performing online psychotherapy. 

Storyberries parenting portal author and mindfulness coach Fleur Rodgers

Fleur is a meditation teacher in France and uses a compassion and loving-kindness based approach to meditation and slow-minded living. Fleur posts regularly to Instagram @rodgers.fleur . She has two children, is a qualified teacher in adult education and is the founder of Timeouttobreathe.com