With back to school in full force, however that my look like for you at the moment, one thing is for sure: the world is different. Anxiety demands two things: Certainty and comfort. In other words, change and uncertainty can cause a lot of stress! One way to to diminish the patterns that support anxiety (and depression), is to teach flexible thinking and problem solving. As parents, the best way to do this is through modeling, but reading to your child is an amazing way to connect, teach and learn together ways to develop flexibility, manage anxious moments, and revel in the unexpected moments of growing up.
Here are some books that are great at modeling healthier cognitive styles:
For ages 0-5
1) Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Teaches imagination, versatility, and thinking outside the box.
2) The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Teaches flexibility, risk-taking and exploring.
3. Be Brave Little One by Marianne Richmond
Teaches the good combination of risks and limits.
4). We'll All Go Exploring by Maggee Spicer
Teaches exploring and investigating
5) The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Teaches thinking outside the box, acceptance, understanding of others and cultural
For ages 4 and up
1) Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
Teaches creativity, courage in the face of failure and problem solving.
2) The Opposite by Tom MacRae and Elena Odriozola
Teaches the critical concept of confronting anxiety and fear rather than avoiding.
3) Forunately by Remy Charlip
Teaches resourcefulness, hopefulness, and persistence.
4) Fables by Arnold Lobel
Teaches flexibility, risk-taking, the power of observation, the dangers of getting stuck
5) Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Teaches perseverance, creativity, and courage in the face of failure
6) Once Upon an Ordinary School Day by Colin McNaughton
Teaches imagination, possibilities, thinking outside the box,and positive expectancy
7) The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson
Teaches flexibility, shifts in perspective, and that experience is malleable.
8) Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
Teaches adaptability, that change happens, shifts in perspective and flexibility