12 tips for parents to help an anxious child

Here are a few ideas that you can use to help your child overcome anxiety. You don’t have to try them in any particular order. Children may respond differently to the different tasks, so be guided by their reactions as to which is most beneficial to them at the time. Please note: this is not an exhaustive list of things you can do — if you are concerned about your child’s level of anxiety, make sure to seek advice from a mental health professional.

Tips for parents, from the children’s book " How Big Are Your Worries, Little Bear? ", a beautifully illustrated story written to help children manage and overcome anxiety, anxious thoughts, stress and fearful situations.

Tips for parents, from the children’s book "How Big Are Your Worries, Little Bear?", a beautifully illustrated story written to help children manage and overcome anxiety, anxious thoughts, stress and fearful situations.

  • Explain what anxiety is to help the child recognise it and understand what is happening.

  • Introduce calming techniques and mindfulness:

    • give a slow breathing task

    • use the five senses grounding task

    • do some yoga stretches

  • Physical reassurance - ask if you can give them a hug or hold their hand.

  • Art therapy - to help express feelings they can’t put into words.

  • Verbal action - tell the worry to “Go away!"

  • Recognise even the smallest efforts and build the child’s confidence to ‘have a go’.

  • Do something fun together to give the child a break from their worries.

  • Try to not ‘fix’ everything - children need to learn how to cope and overcome challenges.

  • Help the child to write or draw a checklist of anxiety-busting strategies.

  • Visualisation - ask them to remember a time when they overcame anxiety previously.

  • Visualisation - ask the child to draw what it will look like when they have overcome their anxiety-inducing situation.

  • Model your own techniques - show or explain what you choose to do when you feel anxious.

These hints are expanded upon in the back of the children’s book "How Big Are Your Worries, Little Bear?", a beautifully illustrated story written to help children manage and overcome anxiety, anxious thoughts, stress and fearful situations.

How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear?

Little Bear is a worrier. He worries about everything! But with Mama Bear’s help, he soon learns his worries are not so big after all. Through this engaging story children will learn that everyday worries and fears can be overcome. Discussion questions and extra hints to help children manage anxiety are included.

HBAYW_Anxiety_tips.jpg

Would you like a copy of this poster?

Download:
pdf for printing
jpeg for social share

More resources to help teach Social and Emotional Intelligence:

Social and Emotional Intelligence Bundle

Learning to recognise how another is feeling, showing kindness, and taking the time to really listen develops our ability to connect to one another in compassionate and meaningful ways. Story is the perfect vehicle to help children learn these strategies and how to cope with the many challenges of life they will encounter as they grow into adulthood. The four books in this bundle explore these topics in a way all children will relate to and engage with.

Included:

  • You, Me and Empathy

  • How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear?

  • Resilience

  • Talking About Feelings

Optional Extra: 12 Lesson Plans for Teachers ($10AU), covering the topic of Social and Emotional Intelligence. Total price shown above will update if this option is selected.

Teaching Children Social and Emotional Intelligence — Books and Resources

On this page we have collated all of our resources specifically for teaching children Social and Emotional Intelligence. The resources include books, lesson plans, free posters and activities.

E2E_SEI_resources.jpg

Why teach Social and Emotional Intelligence? Learning to recognise how another is feeling, showing kindness, and taking the time to really listen, develops our ability to connect to one another in compassionate and meaningful ways. Teaching children strategies on how to cope with challenging situations will help their self-confidence as they grow into adulthood. 

A child who is encouraged to be socially and emotionally intelligent from an early age will grow to be a confident, thoughtful and caring person.


Free resources:

Posters

Activities/Worksheets

Blog articles

Shop: Books & Teaching Resources

You may also like our children’s book Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent & Respect (from our Body Safety & Consent books) which teaches children about body ownership, respectful relationships, feelings and emotions, choices and recognising bullying behaviours. Best suited for ages 4-10 years.




Customer note: We ship our products worldwide from Melbourne, Australia. Individual books (including some non-English versions) are also available to purchase from Amazon, which may provide more economic shipping cost to US, UK and other Northern Hemisphere locations.


The resources featured on this page are proudly produced by Educate2Empower Publishing.

Educate2Empower Publishing is an international award winning niché children's book publisher who specializes in children's books on Body Safety, Consent, Gender Equality, Respectful Relationships, and Social and Emotional Intelligence

Our books combine beautiful illustrations with key educational concepts capturing the child's imagination as well as teaching them messages crucial to their development and safety.

Empowering children through age-appropriate stories, activities, important lessons and skills, and the encouragement of communication and discussion. The books can also be used to help prevent or overcome bullying, whilst promoting mental health, equality and diversity. Ideal for use and purchase by anyone who cares for children, including parents, school/kindergarten teachers, social workers, psychologists, community health services, family support services, and many more!

Lesson Plans for Teachers: Body Safety; Gender Equality; Social and Emotional Intelligence

ATTENTION Teachers! We have just released some new resources: Lesson Plans for the topics of Body Safety, Gender Equality, and Social and Emotional Intelligence. 

Written by Jayneen Sanders and Yale Merceica, these fully developed lesson plans incorporate questions and activities based on the messages in our books, to help you convey important and empowering life skills to your students. The content is age-appropriate and suitable for Preschool and Primary/Elementary School classes.

The Lesson Plans include: key outcomes, teaching notes, resource masters, whole class and individual activities integrated with the reading of our books to make the teaching process easier for you.

The Lesson Plans are modular and available as a purchase option with each of our Book Bundles:


For anyone who already has the books, the Lesson Plans can be purchased separately.


For even more teaching resources, our very successful and comprehensive Body Safety Education Teacher’s Resource Kit is available in Preschool and Primary School Editions. As well as including books and teaching notes, the Teacher’s Resource Kit also includes an Activity Book, activity resource masters, parent information letter and hand-out, access to Powerpoint files for in-servicing teachers and parent information sessions, full-colour printed posters, and laminated Safe/Unsafe cards.

15 Key Communication Skills for Students

The following communication skills may be helpful for students when discussing or debating ideas in a group situation.

Let everyone have a turn at speaking.

1. Allow everyone in the group a chance to speak and acknowledge what they said respectfully, e.g. “I hear and understand what you said and I agree/disagree. I think … because …”

Don’t make fun or discount another person’s ideas.

2. Speak about ideas and not about a person/s.

Listen to others when it’s their turn. Listening to other’s ideas is how we learn.

3. Do not dominate the conversation; allow each person a turn to speak.

Do not dominate the conversation; allow each person a turn to speak.

Do not dominate the conversation; allow each person a turn to speak.

4. Listen and don’t interrupt or talk over others, allowing each speaker to finish his/her point.

5. Listen with empathy, respect and courtesy, be mindful of others feelings/passions as they speak.

Take time to talk about and explore ideas.

6. Give those in the group time to think about and understand the discussion before moving on.

7. All speakers should try to keep to the point and focus on the topic at hand and not be distracted.

8. Be aware of your own biases.

9. Have an open mind to changing your stance if the evidence is clear.

10. Endeavor to build an understanding of the content and context of the debate.

11. If the aim of the group is to work towards a shared solution/outcome, be open-minded and flexible without compromising your values.

Ask questions of others.

12. Ask clarifying questions.

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Your voice matters.

13. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion if it is in disagreement with the majority.

14. All voices count and all voices matter, be respectful of this.

Don’t take the argument with you.

15. Leave disagreements around the topic behind when leaving the room.


Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three and writes children’s books on Body SafetyGender EqualityConsentRespect and Social and Emotional Intelligence

All Jayneen’s books are available at www.e2epublishing.info and Amazon.

 

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

In This Classroom You Are Loved

I am writing this blog to acknowledge, honour and thank all the wonderful teachers out there who are beginning the school year in the Northern Hemisphere, and all my fellow teachers who are working so hard to ensure kids are loved, safe and nurtured in the Southern Hemisphere.

Here’s what I know: a teacher can make all the difference to a child’s life. They can make a massive difference in a positive way, but conversely, they can leave a negative imprint as in the case of my own preschool teacher who stood my five-year-old self on a chair, in front of the whole class, and not only scolded me for being dumb but hit my legs with a ruler because I could not fold my kinder square into the origami shape she was modelling. I have never ever taught or attempted origami again (even though I lived in Japan for three years as a young woman) and it took some years to undo the 'dumb' tag.

That aside, when I was a beginning teacher in a small country town in Queensland, Australia during the early 80s, I had a young boy called John in my class. He was a beautiful boy — kind, helpful, friendly and tried his utmost to be the best he could be. His home life was not so brilliant. He came from a large family with very little means, and whom I suspect, tried their best for their children even though life was very difficult. John often came to school inadequately dressed for the climate and had an aura of neglect. But in our first year classroom of 25 kids, he was loved. He was part of a close-knit team. He was safe. He was valued and he was cared for. I had the privilege to set up a classroom where everyone was valued, everyone felt important and everyone had a voice. I had the opportunity to model kindness and compassion, and to reinforce these core human values to my students.

As teachers we can do this. We have the opportunity to set up a welcoming classroom environment. We can actually shape our students’ futures by how they see and value themselves. This is powerful. Never underestimate how important you are in your students’ lives and how important your classroom is to each and every little person (or big as in the case of teenagers) in it. Your classroom can be a safe haven from their ‘other’ lives where adversity and trauma may be ever present. Your classroom can be a nurturing place where each and every student feels loved and valued.

So, enjoy your year ahead and I’d like to personally thank you for being that one adult in a child’s life who really does care.

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three and writes children’s books on Body SafetyGender EqualityConsentRespect and Social and Emotional Intelligence

Image from Resilience by Jayneen Sanders www.e2publishing.info

Resilience-pg20-21.jpg
Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

10 Best Children’s Books to Help Kids with Anxiety

Here are ten fantastic books to help children understand, manage and overcome anxiety, worry and stress — providing through story, lessons and coping strategies that will stay with them as they grow up, facing the challenges that life throws at us.

1. How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear?
by Jayneen Sanders

Little Bear is a worrier. He worries about everything! But with Mama Bear’s help, he soon learns his worries are not so big after all.
Through this engaging and beautifully illustrated story, children will learn that everyday worries and fears can be overcome. It just takes a willingness to share with a helpful listener, and an understanding that making mistakes is how we learn.
Also included are helpful Discussion Questions for parents, caregivers and educators, and extra hints to help children manage anxiety.
Available in Australia from www.e2epublishing.info
and on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2iniWZ9] and UK [http://amzn.to/2AWRgFg] customers

 

2. Hey Warrior!
by Karen Young

A fantastic book to help children understand what actually happens in their brain when they experience anxiety. Kids can do amazing things with the right information. Understanding why anxiety feels the way it does, and where the physical symptoms come from, is a powerful step in turning anxiety around. This book is an amazing resource for kids 5 years and above who feel anxious and overwhelmed by those feelings.
Available at http://www.heysigmund.com/product/hey-warrior/

 

3. The Huge Bag of Worries
by Virginia Ironside

Wherever Jenny goes, her worries follow her — in a big blue bag. They are there when she goes swimming, when she is watching TV, and even when she is in the lavatory. Jenny decides they will have to go. But who can help her? A great book to use with anxious children as it helps sort worries through and make them seem more manageable. It emphasizes that we all have worries and what to do about them.
Available on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2iWiqVY] and UK [http://amzn.to/2jhUVDM] customers

 

4. When My Worries Get too Big
by Kari Dunn Buron

More than any other issue, 'losing control' can cause major problems for children. Through the irresistible character of Nicholas, this book gives young children an opportunity to explore with parents or teachers their own feelings as they react to events in their daily lives while learning some useful relaxation techniques. Children who use the simple strategies presented in this charming book, illustrated by the author, will find themselves relaxed and ready to work or play.
Available on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2iWkhtU] and UK [http://amzn.to/2iUw7Vm] customers

 

5. What to Do When You Worry Too Much
by Dawn Huebner

"What to Do When You Worry Too Much" is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. It includes a note to parents.
Available on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2kmUY4x] and UK [http://amzn.to/2iYJynm] customers

 

6. It's Okay to Make Mistakes
by Todd Parr

This book, suitable for younger children, embraces life's happy accidents, the mistakes and mess-ups that can lead to self-discovery. Todd Parr brings a timely theme to life with his signature bold, kid-friendly illustrations and a passion for making readers feel good about themselves, encouraging them to try new things, experiment, and dare to explore new paths.
Available on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2AtlK14] and UK [http://amzn.to/2ipKRrv] customers

 


7. Wilma Jean the Worry Machine
by Julia Cook

Everyone feels fear, worry and apprehension from time to time, but when these feelings prevent a person from doing what he/she wants and/or needs to do, anxiety becomes a disability. This fun and humorous book addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety. The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety.
Available on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2ji0diC] and UK [http://amzn.to/2imynkq] customers

 

8. David and the Worry Beast
by Anne Marie Guanci

David could not stop thinking about the basket he had missed at the end of the big game. He was worried that he might do it again. He was worried that his team mates would be angry with him. He was worried that his parents would not be proud of him. He was also worried about an upcoming math test. In fact, David was worried a lot. " Luckily, David finally confided in his parents and school nurse, both of whom gave him support and techniques for controlling the "worry beast" within him.
Available on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2zRYbfc] and UK [http://amzn.to/2imyqN8] customers

 

9. When Worry Takes Hold
by Liz Haske

One night just before the lights went out, Worry snuck into Maya's mind. Worry grew bigger and bigger until there was no space left for anything else; just darkness and fear. Maya finally finds Courage, through the form of a calming breath, and learns how to break free from Worry's hold.
Available on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2inzAI9] and UK [http://amzn.to/2iXpvFR] customers

 

10.  100th Day Worries
by Margery Cuyler

When Jessica's teacher tells everyone in class to find 100 things to bring to school for their 100th day, Jessica starts to worry. She wants to bring something really good but what? 100 marshmallows? No, too sticky. 100 yo-yos? Nah, that's silly. When Jessica reaches the 99th day, she really starts to worry. She still doesn't know what to bring! This book explores general anxiety through the familiar scenario of school by providing the reader with helpful strategies to mange everyday worries.
Available on Amazon for US [http://amzn.to/2BLOjF9] and UK [http://amzn.to/2iXq02H] customers

 

For more great books and resources to empower children, see the complete range at http://www.e2epublishing.info/books

1 Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

Children's Books with a Difference

As a teacher, writer and mother I am devoted to the education of children. However, it is not their academic achievement that I am so focused upon. What is important to me, is that children:

• develop emotional and social intelligence

• are educated in age-appropriate Body Safety

• understand the terms ‘respect’ and ‘consent’

• know gender equality is non-negotiable.

These are the reasons why I write the children's books I do! Children are visual learners and what better way for them to talk about these important topics than through story.

I write both fiction and non-fiction texts, and my books are a hybrid of traditional children’s books with an educational thread. I always provide discussion questions for the adult reader to assist them in drawing out the child’s learning. Of course, some adults know exactly how to extend the conversation and embed the important message, but many are grateful for the scaffolding. A number of my books have child-centered questions on the page so the child can express how they interpreted the text and the illustrations, and the emotions they or the character may have felt. That way the child feels invested in the story and can share things that are also important to them. 

I am concerned that children are becoming less engaged with the people around them and more engaged with the technology that is so easily accessible. Empathy is about engaging with others. The research tells us empathy is a learned trait, and hence why I wrote my latest children’s book ‘You, Me and Empathy’. Teaching children to see the world from another person’s point of view is crucial to a kind, compassionate and empathetic society, and therefore, I believe teaching empathy from an early age is critical.

I am passionate about empowering children, and I am adamant there is a way to broach these challenging topics with children through well-crafted and engaging stories.

Jayneen Sanders

All Jayneen’s books are published by Educate2Empower Publishing an award-winning niché children's book publisher who specializes in children's books on BODY SAFETY, CONSENT, GENDER EQUALITY and RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIPS. Educate2Empower Publishing also provides free resources for parents, carergivers and educators on these important topics. For more information go to: www.e2epublishing.info  All Jayneen's books are available on Amazon.

Comment

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.

10 Top Tips to Empower Kids

As parents we want our kids to grow up confident, with an amazing sense of self-worth, a whole lot of resilience and respect for others and the world around them. As adults, we know persistence and tenacity are important traits when the going becomes tough. Children are a blank slate when they are born. It is a scary thought, but in the early years, children will become what adults tell them they are. I have seen this both as an educator and a mother. The child who is told they are stupid and worthless will believe that is what they are. A child who is nurtured to believe in him or herself, encouraged to take risks and is continually reinforced for their efforts with positive affirmations and respect, will most likely develop a strong belief in him or herself and their capabilities. And yes, as they grow, their peers and teachers will and do influence their sense of self, but we can only hope the positive foundations we have nurtured are solidly in place. Here are my top ten tips to empower kids so they can develop into confident, happy, respectful, well-adjusted and resilient teenagers and adults.

1. Give your child choice.

From a young age, allow your child to make decisions that directly relate to them. For example, allow them to choose between cereal or toast for breakfast; the red, pink, blue or green toothbrush; the orange T-shirt or the striped T-shirt. And dare I say it… allow them to choose their own outfits! Choice and voice go together. Allowing your child choice gives them a voice and therefore a say in what directly relates to them and their daily life.

2. Listen to your child.

Not only listen to your child’s voice but note their moods and listen for what is NOT being said. When you ask your child how they are after kindergarten or school, REALLY ask them how they are. Stop your busy life and engage with your child. Find out what may be upsetting them or what may being giving them loads of joy. Ensure nothing is off the table and ensure you child can tell you or ask you about anything. And if you child doesn’t like some-one or doesn’t wish to go with a certain person, listen. I don't wish to scare you unnecessarily but this is one of the signs a child may indirectly provide if they are being sexually abused.

3. Teach your child Body Safety.

There is nothing more empowering than teaching your child Body Safety Education from as young as two. Providing children with knowledge about their personal boundaries and their rights, especially in regards to their body is incredibly empowering. A child educated in Body Safety knows to tell, tell, tell if they are touched inappropriately, and is far less likely to be a victim of a sexual predator. Pedophiles rely on children keeping secrets and not knowing the sexual touch is wrong. An educated child who knows to tell is their worst nightmare! See my parents’ guide: ‘Body safety Education — a parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ to educate both yourself and your child. We can’t always be with our children, for example, when they are on a sleepover or scout camp, but we can provide ‘a safety belt’ so to speak through teaching them Body Safety Education! See also my children’s book ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ which is a great tool to open up the discussion about safe and unsafe touch.

4. Allow your child to take risks.

I know it’s scary but sometimes we have to trust our kids and allow them to take some risks. Try to stop yourself reaching out, and trust your child to climb that tree, go down that big slide and swim a lap alone. (Believe me, it is really hard to not say a word when your 21-year-old daughter decides to travel the world alone starting with a one-way ticket to Istanbul!) On that point, a friend of mine restricted her children from doing so many physical things that now, the youngest in particular, is fearful to do anything, and this has translated into adulthood. Hold yourself back, not your child, and allow them to explore their world.

5. Use your words wisely.

Encourage your child’s endeavours with words such clever, smart, beautiful inside and out, creative, talented, etc. Particularly amongst young girls, I suggest you do not continually focus on their physical appearance and focus more on their talents and creative pursuits. And if an argument ensues as they always do, remember what has been said can’t be unsaid. As one wise person said to me — choose your battles wisely as words can and do hurt. On a personal note, every night when my girls were younger, I would kiss them good night and I would whisper something positive from the day such as, ‘I really loved how you tried so hard in netball today. You always make me proud.’ Going to sleep with such a positive thought ringing in your ears can only be empowering!

6. Encourage your child to follow their interests.

Your child’s interests may not always be your interests but if your son or daughter loves to dance or play football for example, than be as supportive and encouraging as you can. I know! This should go without saying!

7. Allow your child to greet others in a way they are comfortable with.

When greeting relatives, in particular, and your child doesn’t want to kiss Uncle Jo or Grandma than allow your child to choose a high five, blow a kiss or provide a hand-shake. Just because your child is a child doesn’t mean they should be forced to show affection. This only gives them the message that their wishes don’t matter. Your child should give hugs and kisses willingly, and all adults and other children need to respect this. See my children’s book ‘No Means No!’ which is on this very topic!

8. Discourage gender stereotyping.

Ensure your child believes he or she can be and do anything they set their heart to. There are no set roles for men and women! Believe in your child. There are no limits. Discourage gender stereotyping and do no become a party to the media’s continual bombardment.

9.  Encourage perseverance.

Life is not always easy, so encourage your child to try and keep on trying until they succeed or come close to it! I must admit I am a bit of a trier and it has held me in good stead!

10. Teach your child the ‘pirate stance’!

This a fun activity but actual an empowering one! Have your child stand for 30 seconds every second day (or so) like a pirate. Have your child place their hands on their hips, their legs slightly apart and their shoulders back. Research tells us this stance is incredibly empowering; particularly for girls. Give it a try yourself!

Bottom line is… the most empowering thing you can do as a parent for you child is to trust them, show respect and to encourage them in all they choose to do!

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education and respectful relationships to be taught both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s children's books 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', 'Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain', ‘No Means No!’, ‘My Body! What I say Goes!’, ‘No Difference Between Us’, and her parents’ guide ‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ go to www.e2epublishing.info

All books are also available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2cC7QNb

Top 15 Must-Have Children’s Books on Personal Safety and Emotional Health


Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse

1. Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept

by Jayneen Sanders

Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept is a beautifully illustrated picture book that sensitively broaches the subject of keeping our children safe from inappropriate touch. We teach water safety and road safety but how do we teach 'body safety' to young children in a way that is neither frightening nor confronting? This book is an invaluable tool for parents, caregivers, teachers and health professionals. The comprehensive notes to the reader and discussion questions at the back of the book support both the reader and the child when discussing the story. Suitable for ages 3 to 12 years. A free 'body safety' song, supporting teacher's pack and other useful resources are also available from: www.somesecrets.info

Available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese and Chinese.

 

2. My Body Belongs to Me

by Jill Starishevsky

Without being taught about body boundaries, a child may be too young to understand when abuse is happening—or that it’s wrong. This straightforward, gentle book offers a tool parents, teachers, and counselors can use to help children feel, be, and stay safe. The rhyming story and simple, friendly illustrations provide a way to sensitively share and discuss the topic, guiding young children to understand that their private parts belong to them alone. The overriding message of My Body Belongs to Me is that if someone touches your private parts, tell your mom, your dad, your teacher, or another safe adult.


Sex Education

3. It’s Not the Stork!

by Robie H. Harris

Young children are curious about almost everything, especially their bodies. And young children are not afraid to ask questions. What makes me a girl? What makes me a boy? Why are some parts of girls' and boys' bodies the same and why are some parts different? How was I made? Where do babies come from? Is it true that a stork brings babies to mommies and daddies? It's Not The Stork! helps answer these endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school children ask about how they began.

 

4. Where Did I Come From?

by Peter Mayle

Where Did I Come From? covers all the basic facts from love-making, orgasm, conception and growth inside the womb, through to the actual birth day. It names all the names and shows all the important parts of the body.

Where Did I Come From? tells the facts of life as they are - without any nonsense, and in a way that children can understand and parents enjoy.


Grief/Death

5. A Place in my Heart — Understanding Bereavement

by Annette Aubrey

Through rhyming, the author deals sensitively with bereavement reassuring young readers that emotions they may be experiencing are ‘normal’ and shared by others.

 

 

6. Badger’s Parting Gifts

by Susan Varley

Badger is so old that he knows he will soon die. He tries to prepare his friends for this event, but when he does die, they are still grief-stricken. Gradually they come to terms with their grief by remembering all the practical things Badger taught them, and so Badger lives on in his friends' memories of him.

 

7. Isaac and the Red Jumper

by Amanda Seyderhelm

Picture book for 5-12 years about child bereavement. To be read by a parent, counsellor, teacher to a bereaved child. Full colour illustrations, and a list of questions at the back of the book to help children heal their grief process using creative activities. Isaac is heartbroken when his best friend Freddie dies. His house freezes, and his red jumper turns grey with grief. His friends try to console him but it's only after Isaac receives a special visit from Freddie that he understands love and friendship last forever, and are alive in spirit. Isaac and the Red Jumper will appeal to anyone who is bereaved, and is looking for a creative way to heal. Amanda Seyderhelm is a PTUK Certified Therapeutic Play Practitioner.


Mental Illness

8. Can I Catch It Like a Cold?

By Centre for Addiction &n Mental Health

In simple, straightforward language, the book explains what depression is and how it is treated. It also prepares a child for working with a helping professional. And perhaps most important, it reassures a child that he or she is not alone.


Divorce/Separation

9. Mum and Dad Glue

by Kes Gray

A little boy tries to find a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad back together. His parents have come undone and he wants to mend their marriage, stick their smiles back on and make them better. This rhyming story is brilliantly told with a powerful message that even though his parents may be broken, their love for him is not.

 

10. Dinosaurs Divorce

by Laurene Krasny Brown

Dinosaurs Divorce will help children understand divorce and what it means.


Trauma/Violence/Anxiety

11. How Are You Feeling Today Baby Bear?

by Jane Evans

A gentle story to help children aged 2 to 6 years who have lived with violence in their home. Baby Bear lives in a home with the Big Bears, and loves to chase butterflies and make mud pies - they make Baby Bear's tummy fill with sunshine. Then, one night, Baby Bear hears a big storm downstairs in the house and in the morning, Baby Bear's tummy starts to feel grey and rainy. How will such a small bear cope with these big new feelings? This sensitive, charming storybook is written to help children who have lived with violence at home to begin to explore and name their feelings. Accompanied by notes for adults on how to use each page of the story to start conversations, it also features fun games and activities to help to understand and express difficult emotions. It will be a useful book for social workers, counsellors, domestic violence workers and all grown-ups working with children.

 

 

12. A Terrible Thing Happened

by Margaret Holmes

This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire. An afterword by Sash a J. Mudlaff written for parents and other caregivers offers extensive suggestions for helping traumatized children, including a list of other sources that focus on specific events.

Note from Jane: I have used this book many times with children from very young up to 10 to 11 years as a way to let them fill in the blanks using gentle suggestions of possible feelings, often helping children who lack the names for their unprocessed feelings. The book can also be used with children who are dealing with grief.

 

13. The Huge Bag of Worries

by Virginia Ironside

Wherever Jenny goes, her worries follow her - in a big blue bag. They are there when she goes swimming, when she is watching TV, and even when she is in the lavatory. Jenny decides they will have to go. But who can help her?

Note from Jane: A great book to use with anxious children as it helps sort worries through and make them seem more manageable. It emphasizes that we all have worries and what to do about them. I use this with older children too, as it always makes me get my own worries in perspective!

 

14. When Worries Get Too Big

by Kari Dunn Buron

More than any other issue, 'losing control' can cause major problems for children. Through the irresistible character of Nicholas, this book gives young children an opportunity to explore with parents or teachers their own feelings as they react to events in their daily lives while learning some useful relaxation techniques. Children who use the simple strategies presented in this charming book, illustrated by the author, will find themselves relaxed and ready to work or play.

 

15. Sitting Still Like a Frog (mindfulness)

by Eline Snell

Simple mindfulness practices to help your child deal with anxiety, improve concentration and handle difficult emotions.

 

 

Please note: two new empowering books for young children from the authors of this blog.

 

No Means No!: Teaching children about personal boundaries, respect and consent; empowering kids by respecting their choices and their right to say, 'No!'

by Jayneen Sanders

'No Means No!' is a children's picture book about an empowered little girl who has a very strong and clear voice in all issues, especially those relating to her body and personal boundaries. This book can be read to children from 3 to 9 years. It is a springboard for discussions regarding children's choices and their rights. The 'Note to the Reader' at the beginning of the book and the 'Discussion Questions' on the final pages, guide and enhance this essential discussion. It is crucial that our children, from a very young age, are taught to have a clear, strong voice in regards to their rights — especially about their bodies. In this way, they will have the confidence to speak up when they are unhappy or feel uncomfortable in any situation.

Also available in Australia from somesecrets.info

 

Kit Kitten and the Topsy-Turvy Feelings: A Story about Parents Who Aren't Always Able to Care

by Jane Evans

Once upon a time there was a little kitten called Kit who lived with a grown-up cat called Kizz Cat. Kit Kitten couldn't understand why sometimes Kizz Cat seemed sad and far away and others times was busy and rushing about. Kit Kitten was sometimes cold and confused in this topsy-turvy world and needed help to find ways to tell others about the big, medium and small feelings which were stuck inside. Luckily for Kit, Kindly Cat came along. Many children live in homes where things are chaotic and parents or carers are distracted and emotionally unavailable to them. This storybook, designed for children aged 2 to 6, includes feelings based activities to build a child's emotional awareness and vocabulary. A helpful tool for use by parents, carers, social workers and other professionals to enable young children to begin to name and talk about their feelings.

 

Complied by Jayneen Sanders and Jane Evans. 

Jayneen Sanders <http://somesecrets.info/about-the-author/> is a teacher, author, mother of three teenage daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education both in the home and in schools.

Jane Evans <http://www.parentingposttrauma.co.uk/> is a trainer, public speaker, author and Mum. She has worked with families affected by a range of complex needs and trauma of 20 years and is committed to support everyone in raising children using only kindness.

 

Mindful, Resilient and Focused Learners

shutterstock_146077487.jpg

As a mother of three teenage daughters and an experienced elementary school teacher, I am deeply concerned about our kids. Let me explain. Children today live in a world filled with technology — ipad interaction from birth, social media from pre-teens and access to everything and anything on the Internet from a very young age. Don’t get me wrong, as a teacher I know technology can be an amazing tool for learning. Extraordinary really. What does deeply trouble me, is the negative aspect of child/learner interaction with technology.

I have come back to teaching after four years away. What I found on my return, was many children (dare I say the boys) had a much lower attention span than I had previously experienced in my teaching practice. Where once I had five- and six-year-olds listening and focused for 15 minutes, they were now only engaged for around five minutes. After that period of time, eyes started to roam, feet began to fidget and turning around seem a more entertaining thing to do!

In a time of technology overload, and on-line and off-line societal pressures, I have come to the conclusion that we need to formally teach our children the following:

1. To be mindful of others and of themselves. That is, to show respect and empathy towards others, and to show respect and empathy towards themselves.

2. To be resilient. That is, we need children to feel confident about themselves and to be able to accept disappointment and even rejection without loosing a sense of self. The teaching of resilience goes hand in hand with children learning to be assertive — both about their bodies and their mindset.

3. To be focused learners. That is, I believe we formally need to teach children in a school environment to focus on a task and to slow their mind down, allowing them to sustain longer concentration.

In a practical sense, what can we as educators and parents do to assist our young children to become mindful, resilient and focused learners; and in turn, become mindful, resilient and focused teenagers and adults? Teenagers and adults who can survive the enormous pressures placed upon them — especially via social media.

Mindfulness

• Talk about and explore feelings and emotions with your child. Discuss what it feels like to happy, sad, angry, etc. Ask your child when they may have felt that way. ‘How did you feel when…? Why did you feel like that…?’

• Read stories regularly with an underlying moral message, eg ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein or ‘John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat’ by Jenny Wagner and discuss how the characters in the book were feeling. Take time to discuss the key messages after the reading.

• Encourage children to empathize with others in various social situations, ie, ask, ‘What would you have done if you were that little girl or boy?’

 

Resilience

• Encourage children if they first don’t succeed at a task, to try and keep on trying.

• Always provide positive reinforcement for jobs and tasks well done or attempted — as long as the child has tried to the best of their ability.

• Encourage good sportsmanship and model joy when others succeed.

• Listen to children. Children’s voices need to be heard and respected by adults. They have the right to say ‘no’ and the right to voice their wishes.

• Teach Body Safety from a young age so children will know their rights in relation to their body (see http://somesecrets.info/blog/2013/12/29/how-to-educate-your-child-in-body-safety). This knowledge will carry through into their teenage and adult lives.

Note: most often a child who is resilient and assertive will be a confident child. With the pressures on teenagers today, confidence is one thing they will definitely need.

 

Focus

• Reduce the amount of screen time your child has and the multi-tasking with various ipads, smart phones and computers available.

• Try to avoid giving your child your smart phone/ipad to keep them ‘entertained’. (I have seen a five-year-old show withdrawal signs from her ipad and consequently unable to focus on an investigative task at school.)

• Try a weekly mediation with your child, eg have them lie on their back in a comfortable spot (with eyes closed) for ten minutes, while you take them into an imagined special garden of their own with a pond, flowers, etc. Say, ‘Imagine you are opening the gate to your special garden, as you walk down the path you see…’

• Encourage children to take time to browse through picture books (the library is an ideal place for this) with detailed images and to really explore each image. ‘Where’s Wally?’ books are great for this.

• Provide old boxes, recycled plastics, tape, etc. and have children take time to build something based around their own imagination.

• Encourage outdoor play, family strolls, bike rides, outings, etc without time constraints.

As the world spins faster and faster and technology continues to grow and pull us into its web, mindfulness, resilience and being a focused learner will be crucial skills for all children as they progress into their teenage and adult years.

 

Jayneen Sanders (aka Jay Dale) is a teacher, author, mother of three teenage daughters and an active advocate for sexual abuse prevention education both in the home and in schools.

For more information on this topic and Jay’s book go to www.somesecrets.info

Now available on Amazon in 7 seven languages. http://www.amazon.com/Jayneen-Sanders/e/B00BDCGZ1W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

5 Comments

Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.