Eight Books to help Calm Down during Anxious, Stressful Moments

We’ve anxiety booksall been there. Another uncontrollable meltdown. What could have possibly triggered this one?

Is it really because of something so minor, so trivial? From an itchy shirt to a stressful playdate, our gifted kids often worry, plan, have anxiety, or just plain freak out. But they—and you—are not alone! Our book recommendations range from serious advice for parents on how to help children feel less alone with their emotions to just plain laugh-out-loud silly. And don’t forget: The GHF community is here to help you through those moments!

For Kiddos

anxiety booksElephant and Piggie Series, Mo Willems

In this 25-book collection of hilarious stories, Mo Willems explores various elements of friendship. Kids (and adults) who like to plan ahead and begin to worry when things don’t go just as planned will appreciate Gerald the Elephant’s attention to detail and propensity toward melting down. Piggie is a constant friend, always around to allay Gerald’s fears and calm him down. I love all of these books, but if I must pick just a few, I recommend I Will Surprise My Friend, I am Invited to a Party! and Elephants Cannot Dance.

anxiety booksLittle Mouse’s Big Book of Fears, Emily Gravett

Little Mouse is afraid of everything. She chronicles her fears through her journal and learns that even big humans are sometimes afraid. The artwork in this book tells a story of its own, with intricate illustrations, definitions, and scenarios.


anxiety booksThere’s a Nightmare in My Closet, Mercer Mayer

First published in 1968, this Mercer Mayer classic is still a favorite. A small boy faces his fears and finds that the Nightmares aren’t so scary after all. My kids like to dramatize this story before bedtime and tuck all of their Nightmares in.


anxiety booksMy Worries are Like a Tornado, Michele Dawn Ricamato

Do worries seem to overwhelm and overpower your child? This book beautifully articulates what BIG worries feel like along with child-friendly strategies to handle these emotional moments.


anxiety booksScaredy Squirrel Series, Melanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel does not appreciate the unexpected. He has a routine, a plan, and a plan for his plan. In each story, Scaredy learns how to manage when his plans go awry, and that sometimes, a little flexibility leads to a lot of fun.


For Parents

Parent FootprintSummit Center (a GHF Institutional Member)
Dr. Dan Peters hosts a podcast called Parent Footprint, featuring interviews with top parenting experts, doctors, therapists, authors, educators, and parents about how to raise children with awareness and purpose. I recommend all of the episodes, but the advice from the following experts prompted me to read or order their books.

anxiety booksMake Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears

Dr. Dan Peters. Dr. Dan offers realistic techniques to help children work through their fears and anxieties. This title has a child-friendly companion book to work through the empowering strategies together as a family.

anxiety booksSelf-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life, Stuart Shanker

Dr. Shanker details the neuroscience behind the way our children react to stress and outlines positive, effective, and practical ways for parents to understand and deal with out-of-control emotions and behavior. Parenting books often miss the target when we need help with our gifted kids, but I found this book helpful and relevant for parenting my outlier kids.

anxiety booksSocial and Emotional Development in Early Intervention, Mona Delahooke, PhD

The title of the book sounds rather textbook-like, but after listening to Drs. Delahooke and Peters discuss parenting children with challenging behaviors, I believe it will be an accessible and insightful read about the social and emotional needs of our children and how to better connect with them in times of distress. Available March 27, 2017.

Check out these titles and support GHF at no additional cost when you order books and other resources from our GHF Amazon Store. Thank you for your support!

Check out GHF’s Favorite Things or Resource Reviews pages for even more resources!

Do you know of must-have books or other materials that aren’t mentioned? Email me here to have it added to the GHF Store and help others on their learning adventures!  ~ Nikki

Nikki GHFWhen she is not stuck in a book, Nicole Linn parents and educates her three children, and blogs about gifted children and adults at Through a Stronger Lens. She is also Online Merchandise Manager for GHF.


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