All children and young people can experience anxious feelings at any time during their lives, and this is a completely normal part of growing up. Periods in their lives such as exam times or starting a new school can fill a child or teenager with anxiety, and this is completely natural. However, if child is feeling anxious regularly, and over a longer period of time, it can start to affect their wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence.
We've heard from lots of parents of children of all ages that anxiety is a common struggle, especially with the pressures our children are facing in this day and age. From body image and social media, to exam and peer pressure, there are lots of different aspects of life which can leave your child feeling anxious.
We've put together a blog recommending our most popular and most effective products to help your child manage anxiety.
Tools to help your child manage anxiety
Recommended for: Ages 6+ (Not suitable for younger children)
Illustrator Angela Chick designed this movable mood scale pin to help her keep her anxiety and depression in check. She uses the scale to monitor how she's feeling so she stayed aware and on-top of her feelings.
We've heard from lots of parents, especially those who are parents to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, that this mood pin is a great way of informing teachers and other pupils of how they're feeling. If your child sometimes struggles to verbalise how they're feeling, this is a great visual way of letting others know. Great for wearing on their coat or school jumper, or on their pencil case or bag.
Recommended for: Ages 6+
Mohdoh is mouldable aromatherapy dough, which, when you mould in your hands, releases an aromatherapy fragrance. It combines the tactile play of a fidget toy or stress ball, with the soothing aromatherapy fragrance, so you feel the benefits of both together.
This is great for both little ones and teenagers. If they find themselves feeling panicky or anxious, it's a really easy way to help them to ground themselves, as it gives them something to focus on, while the blend of essential oils gently calms them down.
Recommended for: Ages 3 to 11
This Interactive Worry Plaque is a lovely, visual way of helping to ease younger children's worries. When your little one has got a worry, tell them to hold their hand on the plaque. It'll glow red while the fairies listen to their worry, and then glow green when it's been transferred to the fairies.
This genius tool lets your child take control of their emotions and the plaque helps them to pay attention to their worries so they can do something about them.
Recommended for: All ages
We originally designed this notepad for adults however we've been hearing from loads of parents that they regularly use it with their children!
Ask your child to think about what's worrying them and pop it in the first bubble. Then ask the question - is it within my control? If it isn't, breathe and let it go. If it is, there's another bubble for them to action plan what they're going to do.
This is a great little notepad that they can take with them wherever they go, and encourages them to confront their worries and be engaged with the emotional wellbeing.
Recommended for: All ages
Celebrating our successes - no matter how big or small - is important at any age. But if your child has been struggling with feeling anxious, this notepad is a fun and encouraging way to get them to look at the positives from their day.
As the end of the day, simply ask your child to note down something they did well today. The act of consciously taking time to think about what they're proud of encourages them to develop a positive mindset which will help to alleviate their anxiety.
Recommended for: Ages 11+
School work can easily mount up and overwhelm even the most organised teenager, so it's good to take steps to stay organised along the way.
This Self-Help Desk Pad includes space to plan out all the necessary To-Dos for the week, and is illustrated with uplifting sentiments to help anybody who needs a bit of help. Messages such as "Asked for help", "Took time to recharge" and "Remembered to breathe" help to normalise self-care and mental health so they can stop themselves from getting overwhelmed.
Recommended for: Ages 5 to 11
This box contains 30 pop-open message cards, each with a different fun and uplifting sentiment. Choose a card at random, peel open the flap and inside is a cute illustration with an inspirational message.
The 'You Can Do It' pack is great for younger children with anxiety, as the empowering messages encourage them to take positive steps forward. Lots of parents love to pop them in lunch boxes for the day ahead, so the child can get a bit of support and love from home even when in school!
Books to help your child manage anxiety
Recommended for: Ages 7 to 11
No Worries is one of our most popular books and it's easy to see why. Kids love to doodles, draw and colour-in which is what makes this book so effective. It's packed full of things to do that use creativity to combat stressful moments and anxious feelings.
The various activities encourage children to be more mindful of their worries, and practice techniques such a kindness and self-care and mindfulness, all in a fun and engaging way. There's loads to keep them busy for weeks on end, all while they learn about their feelings, what they mean and how to feel less anxious.
Recommended for: Ages 7 to 11
This is a fantastically practical book to help children with anxiety. It's full of advice for parents and the activities inside the book are designed around proven cognitive behavioural therapy techniques.
You start by exploring what anxiety is in order to normalise it, and help your child feel less overwhelmed. As you work through the book, there's loads of tools and tips on how to deal with worries, how to solve your problems, and then how to look after yourself so anxiety doesn't creep back up again! All the activities are interspersed with uplifting messages and info for parents, which makes it a great book to work through together.
Recommended for: Ages 5 to 11
This book covers all the classic topics that tend to give children anxiety, from having a new teacher and falling out with your friends, to when your parents argue or you see something upsetting on TV.
For each scenario, it explores typical things your child might be thinking and feeling, to help normalise their reaction to the situation. Then on the opposite page, there's some things to remember, to help your child rationalise their feelings and make sense of them. This is a great book to read through with your child, to help them understand their different emotions and recognise worries when they crop up.
Recommended for: Ages 11 to 18
Be Calm is one of a series of books from Teen Breathe, all designed to help teenagers navigate their confusing teenager years. It serves as a sort of handbook, covering all the common scenarios that might be making teens feel anxious.
It's divided into articles with plenty of practical and useful guidance on techniques and recommendations for making anxious times more manageable, including social media, journalling, exercise and mindfulness-based breathing techniques. The whole book is playfully illustrated and
Recommended for: Ages 11 to 16
Anxiety is just one of the mental health topics covered in this book. How Not To Lose It covers many aspects of teenage well-being, all written in a fun, grounded way that teenagers will easily relate to. It's a playfully illustrated book so there's no chance of your child getting bored reading it.
The book covers a variety of issues surrounding mental health, with anxiety being a big focus. It's full of practical advice, with tips on how to challenge negative thought patterns and plenty of self-care advice and support.
Recommended for: Ages 3 to 7
Cheeky Worries is about a little boy who stops living his life because of his worries until he meets a wise old owl who helps to explain things. It’s full of colourful illustrations and helps little ones to make sense of what’s going on inside their heads.
It's a great book for younger readers who are experiencing anxiety and worries, as the authors have simplified and conveyed the message beautifully.
Recommended for: Ages 15+
Written by the author and star of E4's My Mad Fat Diary, this book is written by somebody who gets it. It's a more mature read, as the author Rae Earl talks candidly about her experiences of anxiety, depression, OCD, eating disorders and self-harm, amongst others. However, the entire book is written with real heart, humour and warmth that everybody can enjoy.
She breaks down her experiences in a funny and relatable way that really get the message across, and does a fantastic job of helping anybody who's living with a "mixed-up mind".
Recommended for: Parents of children aged 4 to 11
This is a comprehensive guide for any parent who wants to weave mindfulness practices into their child's daily life. It's full of guidance on what mindfulness is, the various practices which children can do throughout the day and plenty of tips and inspiration to help.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool to help calm anxious children and stop them from worrying, and this book is a thorough and informative guide that'll help you understand mindfulness for you and your child.
And a bonus reminder...
Everybody of all ages loves Harry Potter and this wisdom from Newt Scamander of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' fame is a lovely way of helping kids to manage anxiety.
This A4 print is designed and illustrated by the incredibly talented Katie Abey,
All the products listed have been chosen as they are designed to ease the symptoms of anxiety in children and as not intended as a replacement to more in-depth medical interventions. If anxiety is having a serious and detrimental impact on your child's life and well-being, please make an appointment with your doctor or GP, your child's school, or get in touch with any of the support services listed below:
⭐ Mind – www.mind.org.uk – 0300 123 3393
⭐ Samaritans – www.samaritans.org – 116 123
⭐ Rethink – www.rethink.org – 0121 522 7007
⭐ Gofal – www.gofal.org.uk - 01656 647722
⭐ Young Minds - Youngminds.org.uk
⭐ Find a children's counsellor near you:
🗣 British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy - www.Bacp.co.uk
🗣 Counselling Directory - www.Counselling-directory.org.uk