How to Help Kids Deal With Anxiety: The Worry Glasses

Many people suffer from anxiety…adults as well as children.  But the question is: how to help kids deal with anxietyThe Show Me How program uses picture books to help young children deal with the challenges they face so today, for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’ve chosen a story that addresses that problem.

The Worry Glasses: Overcoming Anxiety

Written by Donalisa Helsley

Illustrated by Kalpart

Publisher: Mirror Publishing (2012)

Ages: 3-9

Themes:

Overcoming anxiety, worrying, family support, empowering children, believing in yourself.

Opening lines:

“My name is Marjorie, but everyone calls me MJ.  I love having fun, but I used to miss out on doing fun things because I was so worried.”

Synopsis:

MJ doesn’t swim with her family when they went on vacation because she was worried about sharks.  She didn’t ride a horse at camp because she was worried she would fall off.  And she didn’t go to a friend’s party because she was worried no one would play with her.

MJ’s mother realizes there is a problem and takes her daughter to their pediatrician…who recommends they see a counselor.  The counselor is able to help MJ find ways to relax and view her fears in a more realistic way.

Why do I like this book:

This is a PERFECT book for young children who are beset with worries and anxiety (as many are).  I wish this book had been available to me when I was a little girl.  Ms Helsley provides the actual anxiety-relieving exercises that a counselor would give to a child who had this problem.  In addition, there are parenting tips at the back of the book that will be helpful, not only to a parent for their child…but also to anyone who suffers from anxiety.

If you’d like to learn more about this award-winning author and the other books she has written, please visit her at http://www.wildaboutreading.net/

 

Related Activities:

WORRY-LESS GLASSES

Your child will have so much fun, making these ‘worry-less’ glasses.  Put them on…and help your child examine carefully the things that are worrying him or her.  Sometimes talking about a problem and sharing it will lessen its power.

You will need: Pipe cleaners, piece of cardboard, markers, pair of scissors.

  1. Bend one pipe cleaner into a circle and twist the ends together.
  2. Do the same thing with another pipe cleaner.
  3. Twist two pipe cleaners together to form the nose piece…and attach an end to each of the circles.
  4. Attach one pipe cleaner to the outside edge of each of the circles. (these are the temple pieces that go over the ear)
  5. Fit the glasses on your child’s face and bend down each temple piece so the glasses stay on your child’s face.
  6. If you like, you can cut out cardboard circles to fit in the glasses and draw eyes on them.  Then cut out a circle in the middle of each so that the child can see out of them and fit them into the pipe cleaner glasses.  Personally, I like it better without this…less muss, less fuss…and less chance of the child getting frustrated by the cardboard circles falling out.

This craft (and illustration)…and MANY other types of glasses-making projects can be found at a fantastic website: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/howtomakesunglassescraftsideaskids.html

Today is the last day of November…what a jam-packed month this has been.  If you haven’t visited any of the websites below…and you love picture books (writing them or reading them)…click on any of the links and visit.

  1. Picture Book Month: Visit the website of Dianne de Las Casas to join in the month-long celebration of PICTURE BOOKS!  Every day, a different picture book champion (author, illustrator, etc.) is guest posting…you won’t want to miss these….they will inspire you and help you remember just why you love to read and write picture books.
  2. 2.   Picture Books and Crafts for Kids: Please pass the word about this new YouTube series for parents and teachers and kids…every Sunday, I’ll be choosing a picture book to read aloud…and then I’ll do a simple related craft project.  Two weeks ago, I spotlighted Yes We Can by Sam McBratney and last Sunday I read The Little Red Caboose by Marian Potter and we created a geometric-shape train picture.  This coming Sunday I will be reading The Worry Glasses.   And of course, we will be making the “Worry-less Glasses”.  Each segment highlights a parenting problem such as setting up good bedtime routines or a children’s challenge like learning to be a good friend and believing in oneself.
  3. PiBoIdMo:  Picture Book Idea Month is the brain-child of children’s author,Tara Lazar.  If you signed up, you are already immersed in the world of picture books…trying to come up with 30 fresh ideas for picture book manuscripts during this month.  But, even if you have not joined the challenge, please run over there…don’t walk… to read an AMAZING guest post EVERY DAY this month…these posts will instruct and educate you…as well as motivate you to write the picture book that every child will want to read over and over again.
  4. Please don’t forget about Reach Out and Read…we need to GAB (Give a Book) before they can ROAR (Reach Out and Read).  If everyone who loves to read donates enough to buy just one book, the New York City Bellevue Hospital program (one of the largest in the country) will be able to replace the books that were lost in Hurricane Sandy.
  5. Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 in 2012 Challenge to write a picture book draft each month has only ONE MORE MONTH TO GO.  I did complete my November draft…hurray!!!  And I am already looking forward to her 2013 Challenge.  If you didn’t join in this time, please think about doing it next year..click on the link and sign up…the challenge really keeps you on track…the support and encouragement is amazing…and, did I mention…there are PRIZES!!!!
  6. I have yet another important cause I am supporting…it is the STAR Program (Sit Together and Read) from the local Colorado Springs Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD)…they interact with families in many important ways…this program provides picture books to families in need…homes where the children would not have any books if not for this interaction.  On December 10th I will be going to their office to deliver what I hope will be a VERY BIG PILE of picture books.  Click on their facebook link above if you are interested in getting involved.

 

 

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA

Young children don’t need fancy electronic gadgets…they only need a good picture book, a few simple inexpensive art supplies (like paper, crayons or markers, safety scissors and glue stick) and your positive participation.  If you are looking for a great resource that will give you 100 picture book summaries and easy matching craft and cooking activities, you can purchase a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  MoneyPenny Press (our publishing company) is offering the book for $19.95 on Amazon, this book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents.  No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination!   If you order from my website in the month of December, there will be THREE HOLIDAY GIFTS with each book…the price is a little more than on Amazon…but with the three gifts (FREE SHIPPING, A HAND-CRAFTED FABRIC BOOKMARK FOR THE PARENT, A SHINY NEW PENCIL FOR THE CHILD)…it evens out the cost.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.   This is an unbelievable resource for any parent, teacher or children’s librarian.

About Vivian Kirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD'S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING. freelance writer, picture book junkie, love to travel, hike, cook, play Monopoly with my 5-year old grandson and go fly-fishing with my husband.

Posted on November 30, 2012, in 12x12 in 2012 Challenge, Donalisa Helsley, Holiday Gifts from Show Me How, Perfect Picture Book Friday, PiBoIdMo, Show Me How! Build Your Child's Self-Esteem, Sit Together and Read (STAR Program), Worry Glasses: Overcoming Anxiety and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. Oh, I need to find this book for my eldest! He’s the worrier of the family and even says it often (which drives me nuts).

    • I don’t know if you will find it in the libraries yet…it is just out! How about if I send it to you after I use it for my Show Me How Picture Books and Crafts for Kids YouTube segment…kind of a Merry Christmas to one of my most loyal comment-makers. :) I’m sure Donalisa would be thrilled if you were to do a review on your blog (if you want to) and/or on Amazon…authors are always looking for Amazon reviews…I know I am. :)

      • I know, my library doesn’t have it. Well, how about you keep this book until I review yours on my blog, Goodreads and Amazon? I really appreciate you thinking of me for it, but I do owe you a big favor first. I just flipped our calendar to December tonight and I was floored to see I have something written down for every single day for the next 2 weeks and my work projects are not even included in there! Argh…

  2. This seems a perfect book for this issue. I think children are more worried now than when my kids were young. Will check it out.

    • Thanks, Lisa…I agree that more children these days are worried…and I’m not surprised. They grow up with the TV going all day long…and hear and see so many ‘unchildhood-like’ things. Just listening to the news worries me!!! :)
      And kids these days are often over-scheduled…years ago when kids came home from school, they put on play clothes and went outside to run around with their friends. Now, because of family situations, many kids stay in after-school centers until dinner-time when they are picked up by a parent…or go home to an empty house and sit and play computer games (many with lots of violence) until parents come home from work.

  3. This sounds like a helpful book! I like your silly glasses activity!

  4. The cover first grabbed my attention, but the message is even more important. Such a great book for kids who worry — it can be paralyzing. Great activity with the glasses!

  5. This book sounds great, Vivian! I love the idea of the worry glasses! This book might also go well with Wemberley Worried by Kevin Henkes. I think it’s so important to have books like this, especially now. Kids are expected to do so much so young. I recently read an article about pre-school depression being diagnosed and medicated, which I find horrifying on so many levels I don’t even know where to start. Books like this can help kids and parents to have constructive, positive approaches to dealing with common problems. Thanks for adding it to our list! :)

    • So happy you liked the book, Susanna.
      And a recent study showed that kids who don’t have enough ‘block play’ time, are more prone to depression…so why are we taking the block corner out of kindergartens and putting in the computer corner? Yikes…when will we learn that children need their childhood! They will learn to read and write in good time. :)

  6. The book sounds wonderful, even if the cover gives me the heebie-jeebies!

  7. Great choice, Vivian. I know that for some kids worries are so overwhelming that they’re paralyzed. I like the fact that this gives tips to both the child and the parents.

    • Thanks so much, Carrie! I love the actual anxiety-relieving exercises that are part of the story…and the last page of parenting tips of how to help kids who are anxious would help ANYONE who has anxiety. :)

  8. Wonderful, Vivian!
    We ALL need Worry Glasses.

  9. We learned a lot as parents helping one of our children manage his anxiety. Wish books like this were available then.

  10. Great way to tie in anxiety for children.
    Love the wacky glasses!
    And thank you so much, Vivian, for putting up my wacky muse, Matilda!
    She’s on vacation, but sends her love! :-D

    • Oh my goodness, Tracy…so glad you liked the book and the craft…those wacky glasses are cute, aren’t they?And I hope using Matilda for the sidebar button is okay. :)By the way…there was an awesome SURPRISE waiting for me when I got home from work today!  A selection of your AMAZING note cards!!!  They are so beautiful…you are quite a talented lady, Tracy…and the note will be a cherished keepsake…I was happy to donate the copy of Show Me How! to your homeschool mom friend…I’m glad she was pleased. :)  And if she does a review on Amazon, I’ll be thrilled…I wouldn’t have thought it would be this difficult to get 30 reviews on Amazon…but it is…so every one counts big-time. :)

      • I love the wacky glasses!
        Matilda and I are thrilled you’ve displayed Matilda on your sidebar.
        Happy to hear you my greeting cards arrived safely and that you were SURPRISED!
        I hear you, it’s a tough grind trying to promote any type of work.
        Have a wonderful week. :-D
        Tracy

      • What’s frustrating, Tracy, is that we see people spending mega-money on stuff that will be in the garbage soon…or out of batteries…or laying on a shelf somewhere…or that does nothing to promote the happiness and well-being of families.  Then we have a book like Show Me How! (or The Worry Glasses) or amazing notecards like yours with love-inspired artwork that will bring joy to anyone who receives them…but it is the items that get a lot of marketing buzz that get purchased…not because they are inherently valuable or better…but because someone had a lot of money to buy the sales and marketing power. I’m not sure what the answer is…other than to keep trying to get the word out. :)  And for someone who has a book…to get as many reviews on Amazon as possible.:)  

  11. We miss out on so much when we focus on the RISKS rather than the REWARDS. We find that we have lived so little.

    Great book to help kids change their focus.

    • That’s true, Nancy!  Unfortunately, knee-jerk reactions on the part of parents often plant seeds of fear in children…parents need to protect their kids without instilling worry and anxiety…and that is very hard to do. :)   

  12. What a great, great book! Kids live in a scary world these days and I see so many who really do just worry about everything. I like those glasses! Thanks for sharing this one!

  13. You are the queen of finding these awesome books that deal with such relevant and important issues! I continue to be impressed. And, not only that, you have such a nice list of activities with each review!

    • Oh Penny…you definitely made my evening! I am so looking forward to the end of the month (not that I want to wish away time)…I will be ‘retiring’ from my ‘day’ job…and will be able to do more of what I love. It does take time to find the ‘right’ book…but it is so worth it…and it thrills me that you enjoy what I do. :)

  14. I’m so grateful to see that the book shares actual suggestions for dealing with worrying — how I wish there had been books like this for little worrier-Beth. Thank you, Vivian!

    • You are so welcome…I felt the same way when I read through it…there are actual exercises a child (or adult) can do that DO relieve anxiety…Donalisa did a great job with the book!
      All the best,
      Vivian (who used to be little anxious-Vivian)

  15. Vivian, your PPBF selection looks like a wonderful choice. I have a “worrier,” though he’s grown out of it somewhat. When he had a lot of anxiety, I found myself scouring bookshelves for solutions. I wish I had found this book!

  16. The cover of this book is certainly eye popping! Great to see another worry book out. Thanks Vivian

  17. I love the crafty glasses that come with the story… and it is an important topic too. :-)

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