If your child gets easily anxious and worried, I highly recommend Karen Young’s book Hey Warrior. The best thing is that the book is written for children, to empower them. Young points out that kids can do amazing things with the right information. When a child understands why anxiety feels the way it does and where the physical symptoms come from it’s much easier for a child to turn anxiety around.
The book works for children from 5 years up to 12, but I would say that even older children will benefit from this information. (My almost 13-year-old son appreciates the new information he got: “At least I know that it’s my amygdala which causes it!”) As a psychologist Young explains all this skillfully and clearly, what happens in brain when a person gets anxious and why it happens. Then she gives good tools to resolve the challenge and all the way she points out that there is nothing wrong with feeling anxious. She writes: ”Always remember, anxiety is a sign that you’re about to do something really brave. Anxiety and courage always exist together – always.”
The book is beautifully illustrated by Norvile Dovidonyte.
Karen Young writes about children’s and teens anxiety and how to help them turn it around. I found this really interesting since we’ve dealt with it in our home too.
Young writes that ”anxiety is a normal response to something dangerous or stressful.”
She points out that ”we already know that anxiety has nothing to do with strength, courage or character. It picks a target and it switches on. When that target is a child or teen, it can be particularly distressing, causing problems with sleeping, eating and missed school from unexplained illnesses such as sick tummies or headaches.
One of the worst things about anxiety is the way it can happen without any identifiable cause. The physical feeling is familiar – that panicked feeling that comes for example when you miss a stair.”
According to Karen Young the good news is that anxiety in kids is very treatable. She thinks that ”often we adults don’t give children enough credit. They’re so open to possibility, and very quick to make the right connections when they’re given the right information and support. ” She encourages us, the adults in our children’s life to help them overcome the challenging feelings of anxiety.