Does your child ever get anxious? For us as parents, anxiety may be getting upset by yelling, crying or talking about how stressed we are. For children, especially those with special needs, anxiety may be expressed in different ways. As a parent and a therapist I have seen anxiety come out in different ways. For a child who has fine motor delays, getting their shoes or clothes on in the morning may make them anxious. For a child with a sensory processing disorder, walking into a crowded room may make them anxious. Also, explaining the definition of “anxiety” and “worrying” may be very effective.
When My Worries Get Too Big, A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live With Anxiety 2nd Edition by Kari Dunn Buron is a wonderful book to read during your child during mealtime when you and your children are together and focused. This book gives a child strategies on how to relax their bodies and also explains in a very concrete way what anxiety does to your body. It is ideal for children ages 5 and up (K-2).
It is a book that adheres to asking your child various questions and helps open up important discussions regarding feelings. If your child is having trouble answering open ended questions, give choices. Discuss when you have felt anxious as well. I usually find with my children that by normalizing certain feelings, this can help ease anxiety.
When My Worries Get Too Big 2nd Edition has a great visual chart in the back that I copied, laminated and posted on my fridge. I use this chart when discussing feelings and have learned that it can helpful after a difficult moment. It also has a calming sequence chart which can also be helpful. The second edition has just been released this year and has additional carryover activities. The 1st edition is no longer in print.
Excellent information and tips. An important book to have in your library if you have a child who copes with anxiety on a regular basis.