Oftentimes the transitions that happen at the beginning of the new school year can cause or heighten excessive worrying for some students. The students worry about a number of things including leaving their parents, making new friends, wondering if the school work will be too difficult, who will pick them up and are their parents safe.
Sometimes as the children grow older, unfortunately, their worries get bigger too! As school counselors this is often something we hear about especially at the beginning of a new school year.
I have worked with students individually and in small group setting to help the students gain some coping skills to help them manage these worries. I have come across some wonderful tools for working with worrying students in the school setting.
One of my favorite tools to use for excessive worrying is a workbook entitled What to Do When You Worry Too Much, a Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety. The workbook is written by Dawn Huebner, Ph. D. a psychologist and author!
This workbook is divided into specific interactive chapters and is appropriate for children ages 6-12 years old.
Each chapter progresses from the previous chapter, starting out asking "Are you Growing Worries?" in chapter 1 and ending with "You Can Do It!" in chapter 9.
Dr. Huebner has a very nice introduction to parents and caregivers explaining how to use this interactive workbook. The kids that I have worked with using this workbook have found it relate-able and helpful for overcoming worries!!!
Another of Dr. Huebner's books that I have used is entitled Sometimes I Worry Too Much, But Now I Know How to Stop. This is a great book for individuals to look through and read about a girl that has let her worries get out of hand. It very nicely helps kids not feel alone in their worrying as the young girl, Anna, shares her physical and emotional symptoms of her worrying. This book teaches kids that there are professionals who work with children with excessive worrying. Here, I have included a link to Dr. Huebner's website for you to reference.
Another tool that I have on hand is the You Can Control Your Worries GameBook, written/created by Susan Pelton. This GameBook has 3 different games that cover the top 10 ways to deal with anxiety. The book is small and can easily be taken with you to a classroom, or another building. The games in this book really encourages the children to talk about their worrying feeling rather than keeping them inside. This GameBook works well for kids from K-6th. I have found it available here at the Guidance Group store.
What are your favorite tools for helping kids deal with too much worrying?