I’m reading a book called ‘Anxious Kids: How children can turn their anxiety into resilience’ by Michael Grose and Jodi Richardson (2019). I bought it for guidance on helping my grandchildren navigate the current COVID-19 pandemic and the changes to climate from global warming – not entirely unrelated concerns.
On the anxiety-calmness continuum I usually sit in the middle, but I can be triggered into a higher state of anxiety from time to time. My mind can be nudged or triggered to entertain negative thoughts and worst-case scenarios.
By my age most of us have had our share of anxiety-inducing circumstances and by one way or another I have managed to pull through most of them, not perfectly, but adequately. I still have a lot to learn and this book for anxious kids could be helpful, not only to my young grandchildren, but to me as well.
To help explain anxiety to young children (ages 5-12) the authors recommend a book by Karen Young, called Hey Warrior. I ordered it online and had it posted to my oldest granddaughter. The little Warrior character turns out to be our amygdala. Soon after reading it and learning how her amygdala operates to protect her, my granddaughter was inspired to create her own illustrated story to explain how anxiety feels to a 10 year old:
I especially like the image of the amygdala warrior (the anxiety friend) reduced to a puppet under our control when we remember to breathe deeply to restore our calm.