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Book Blog: How to Support Conversations with Your Kids and Students about Worry & Anxiety

Worry and anxiety plague the minds of so many children. And the scary thing is that so many of these children keep it inside. It's scary to not understand it. It's scary to face it. And it's scary to feel like your world is so out of control and overwhelming. 

Talking through these anxious thoughts is key, and having these stories to help guide these conversations is absolute gold. Below are some of my favorite books to support these conversations at school and at home. 

You can check out all of my favorite books on my Amazon Storefront!

A Flicker of Hope, by Julia Cook

A Flicker of Hope Cover Image

Absolutely one of my FAVORITE books for ALL elementary and middle school kiddos!

Sometimes there are dark clouds that seem to be as big as mountains that weigh heavy on all of us. The most important thing is that we come up with strategies that we know we can turn to when our light seems to be only a flicker. We continue to talk about shining bright and to keep our flame going strong!

Julia Cook's books are truly incredible, and our kiddos always make the most amazing connections with powerful conversations and stories to be shared and heard. If you're a teacher, this would be the perfect book to start your year with Morning Meetings, Keep The Quote, and Grand Conversations. You and your students will LOVE this story.

Absolutely one of the BEST picture books for social emotional learning.


Catching Thoughts, by Bonnie Clark

Catching Thoughts Cover Image

What do we do when those negative thoughts invade our brains and take over our minds?

And how do we teach our students and children what to do?

This sweet story will help you teach our kiddos how to acknowledge those unwanted thoughts around sadness, fear, and anxiety, how to show them compassion, and then to actively let them go.

If you’re looking for a bulletin board idea to remind students of the power within them, positive thinking, and growth mindset, I see this book and lots of balloons in your future!

When You Are Brave, by Pat Zietlow Miller

When You Are Brave Cover Image

Do you have students who have moved from another city? State? Country??? Are you getting a new student after your year has already started? Do you sense that maybe you have a kiddo (or kiddos) that are feeling like they’re nervous because they can’t quite figure out where they belong?

Saying goodbye to neighbors. Worrying about making new friends. Passing through a big city. Seeing a dark road ahead. It’s overwhelming and you can feel small, quiet, and alone.

But on those days, when everything around us seems scary, you have to be BRAVE.

This is a perfect book to start off your new school year. We all need to be brave and to practice having courage. Courage to persevere when things are tough. And courage to be brave when we start a new chapter in our life.

What's Inside Your Backpack?, by Jessica Sinarski

What's Inside Your Backpack?

Some of our backpacks are heavier than others. We carry around guilt, shame, worry, and anxiety…all those negative thoughts and feelings filling up our backpack and weighing us down.

It’s important to have tools and strategies to support us, and when everyone on a school campus, and in the home has the same strategies and speaks the same common language about these tough issues…that’s when true emotional learning takes place.

Worry Says What?, by Allison Edwards

Worry Says What? Cover Image

Do you have kiddos who worry...all.the.time????


I bet you don’t even realize that you do! I grew up worrying about EVERYTHING, and as an adult, I still do...EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I so wish that my teachers would have talked openly with me and my classmates about worry and anxiety. I wish they would have given me the tools to help me cope. I wish I understood back then that it was a normal feeling, and that those voices you hear...sometimes they’re a whisper, and sometimes they’re so loud that they are all you hear...I oh so wish I would have known that YOU have the power to make them small and quiet.

Using these picture books with your students or children can open up conversations at school or at home that can flip the script on anxiety and worry. Giving our kids the platform to talk through their feelings and anxieties is so important to empower them to work through them and overcome those emotions.

You can check out my book recommendations to support ALL of your kids' or students' emotions in my Amazon Storefront!


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Disclaimer: The resources and ideas found on this website are all research-based and vetted with a parent and educator lens. The tools listed have worked for students and children that I work with; however, each child is different. This list is not exhaustive and is a compilation of ideas and strategies to try in schools or at home. No information on this website should be used as medical advice. I am not a clinical psychologist, but I do work alongside them as thought partners in this journey.




Kim Gameroz is a change agent for schools and districts who seek to revolutionize classrooms by taking on a systematic approach to teaching social and emotional skills.

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