Helping with fear and anxiety

Hey, am in need of a bit of advice again.

My son has been having nightmares and just has all kinds of fears/anxieties from social anxiety to fear of dinosaurs etc. Does anyone have any recommendations of books they read to their child to help? Or things to say?

Feel like I’m getting it wrong :slightly_frowning_face:

Hello Mumof1,

Sorry that your little one is having nightmares and feeling anxious and worried. So many children go through this. It can be difficult for us as parents to manage and to know what to say in the moment, -plus sometimes things that seem insignificant to us can be huge worries for them. Just being there, listening to them, accepting their feelings, reassuring them, and offering comfort and support is the best action you can take.

What a great idea to share stories with your child to help them overcome their fears! Here are some suggestions that I have used to help children to manage their worries:

(They are all available as read aloud books on YouTube – just make sure you read them at least one hour before sleep time :blush:)

The Worry Tiger, by Alexandra Page & Steff Murphy – What I like about this story is that it demonstrates a fantastic mindfulness/grounding technique (5,4,3,2,1), where in the moment of worry you calm your breathing and focus on what you can see, touch, hear…

Ruby’s Worry, by Tom Percival – helps the reader to understand that your worries shrink when you talk about them.

The Don’t Worry Book, by Todd Parr – helps us to understand that the feeling of worry is normal, and many people worry about lots of different things.

Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell and The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark, by Jill Tomlinson** are two of my favourite stories that I used to enjoy reading to my children when they were younger. These stories may be good to discuss how the characters are feeling.

You Choose Your Dreams, by Nick Sharrat & Pippa Goodhart – is a fun interactive book which helps children to use their imagination to create their own stories. It is important that our children know that dreams and nightmares are not real. When your child is ready, this book may help them to imagine a scenario they may like to dream about!

Listen 1 – Avoid Dismissing Feelings and Listen 2 – Emotion Coaching in the Parenting Matters Programme will also give you more tips on how to help our children when they are experiencing ‘big’ feelings such as worry and anxiety.

It would be great to hear of other book suggestions too!

I hope everything goes well Mumof1 , please check back in to let us all know how you are both getting on. Take care x


Hi @Parent_Coach_Mel. Wow, thank you so much for all the recommendations. Really appreciate you taking the time to reply. The Worry Tiger and The Don’t Worry Book look fab. I’ll start with those two and I’m also tempted by the idea of You Choose Your Dreams once he settles a bit.

Thanks for the reminder about the course also. It’s been a while since I completed those two sections so I’ll go back and re listen to make sure I’m not missing anything.

Thank you so much x