Resources for talking to your child about anxiety

Summer is coming. The weather is heating up, the days are getting longer, and the school year is winding down. While this is a joyful (and rambunctious) time for many, the transitions that come at the end of the school year can be a struggle for some students. Being tested on their growth, preparing to leave their beloved teachers and friends, and starting new adventures can take a toll on some children’s well being. If you notice your child is worrying more than usual or feeling sad in a way that concerns you, it could be a good opportunity to start a conversation about worrying and anxiety.

While any severe anxiety or depression should be treated by a professional, there are some things that you can do to help soothe a nervous child into the summer months. Johnson’s staff works hard to keep students calm and confident about testing, but helping your child to get a good night of sleep and to eat a healthy breakfast can make a huge difference. An upbeat, consistent morning routine is also helpful for students that are prone to nerves.

When all else fails, literature can speak volumes.

AllParenting.com states that “an estimated 3 percent of children between the ages of 3 and 17 have anxiety. On top of that, any child may experience anxiety associated with certain situations or fears. These six books can help your child deal with anxiety and learn to cope.” Click the photo below to see their top resources for helping children deal with anxiety.

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AllParenting.com’s list of resources for helping children with anxiety

Another great list from LivingtheLifeFantastic.com offers resources for children suffering from anxiety, and a separate list for parents. This parent-run website says, “Did you know that anxiety disorders affect one in eight children? Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse. (via Anxiety and Depression Association of America)” They also share another startling fact: One in five children will develop a mental health issue.

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LivingtheLifeFantastic’s list of resources for helping children with anxiety

More great resources for helping anxious little ones:

Parent.com’s When to Worry About Your Child’s Worries

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s Helping Children Cope with Fear and Anxiety 

KidsHealth’s Helping Children Handle Worry

Literature can be a wonderful tool to tackle tough subjects and bring your family closer together. Sharing concerns and feelings openly through literature creates a connection between families that can help children through even the most difficult of situations.

Please contact me with any questions, requests, or ideas for future resource lists. I’d love to help you find the perfect book for your family. You can reach me via email at messhas1@charlottesvilleschools.org or over the phone at (434) 245-2417 ext 2854.

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