Help your child stay calm when anxiety takes hold. In TheMindfulness Workbook for Anxious Kids, two licensed psychologists offer fun and effective mindfulness and emotion regulation activities to help kids cope with anxiety, panic, stress, fear, and worry.
Between school, friends, and just growing up, it’s normal for kids to feel worried or anxious some of the time. But if your child’s anxiety is getting in the way of achieving goals or living life, they may need a little extra help managing stress and difficult feelings. This workbook is a great place to start.
The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxious Kids provides engaging and evidence-based activities grounded in mindfulness practices and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help kids stay calm and balance their emotions—whether they’re at school, with friends, or at home. Using the skills outlined in this workbook, your child will learn to manage anxiety associated with daily life, anxiety disorders, and trauma. The workbook also addresses specific anxiety issues, such as panic, separation anxiety, social anxiety, and phobias.
Emotions can be confusing, and negative or difficult emotions are often the cause of anxiety in children. But emotions cannot be avoided. This workbook will help your child make friends with their emotions, understand them, and use them effectively.
This book has been selected as an Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Book Recommendation—an honor bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.
Catherine Cook-Cottone, PhD, is full professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York; as well as a practicing psychologist. She has written two books on mindfulness and yoga for self-regulation—one for mental health professionals and one for school personnel. Cook-Cottone is on the scientific program committee for the Symposium on Yoga Research, and a consultant to the United Nations Foundation, UNICEF, and Africa Yoga Project. She is founder and president of Yogis in Service, Inc.
Rebecca K. Vujnovic, PhD, is clinical associate professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York; as well as program director for the school of psychology’s MA program. In addition, Vujnovic maintains a small private practice, specifically working with children using mindfulness techniques to manage anxiety, stress, and worry.
Foreword writer Christopher Willard, PsyD, is a psychologist and educational consultant based in Boston, MA, specializing in mindfulness. He has been practicing meditation for twenty years, and leads mindfulness and mental health workshops internationally. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has presented at TEDx conferences, and his thoughts have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, www.mindful.org, and elsewhere. He is author of Child’s Mind, Growing Up Mindful, Raising Resilience, and three other books. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.
“Mindfulness has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and anger; increase the frequency of positive emotions; speed physical healing; and increase the attention of students with attentional difficulties. It is a skill that everyone should have in their toolbox. Cook-Cottone and Vujnovic have done much-needed work to put mindfulness skills into age-appropriate and meaningful language for anxious children. With their work, it is my hope that we can teach a generation of children to be more mindful, calmer, and less anxious.” —John Schinnerer, high-performance coach, consultant to Pixar’s Inside Out, and author of How Can I Be Happy
“This book is a treasure trove of practical and powerful skills for kids to manage stress and anxiety, and for adults who love kids to teach and to model in their own lives.” —Dzung X. Vo, MD, FAAP, author of The Mindful Teen
~Dzung X. Vo, MD, FAAP
“This book takes kids by the hand and leads them gently and lovingly to an experience of self-awareness. Through progressive exercises, each building upon the last, children learn to honor their own feelings and trust in their capacity to address challenges great and small. I can hardly wait to share this wonderful resource with my own students!” —Louise Goldberg, MA, C-IAYT, founder of Creative Relaxation®, owner of Yoga Center of Deerfield Beach, author of Classroom Yoga Breaks and Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs, and coauthor of S.T.O.P. and Relax
~Louise Goldberg, MA, C-IAYT
“Mindfulness for Anxious Kids is so much more than a workbook, it’s a step-by-step, trauma-informed framework for introducing mindfulness to children while empowering them with critical coping skills. Using the engaging self-images of Stressed-Out Me and Mindful Me, Cook-Cottone and Vujnovic first teach about stress and anxiety and how our bodies and brains work together to manage them. The reader is then artfully guided in strengthening their Mindful Me through powerful, effective, age-appropriate skill-building activities, including some designed to specifically address stressful situations common to children. This brilliant resource belongs at the very top of the toolbox of every parent, clinician, counselor, and anyone else who supports the emotional well-being of children!” —Lisa Flynn, E-RYT 500, founder and CEO of ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms, and author of Yoga for Children, Yoga 4 Classrooms Activity Card Deck, and Yoga for Children—Yoga Cards
~Lisa Flynn, E-RYT 500
“For the children who feel like their body and mind betray them, this book will be a true gift, allowing them to explore, understand, and grow a trust for the inner resources we all deserve to know. The way Mindfulness for Anxious Kids is organized makes complete sense; it progressively moves children through cultivating self-awareness to developing effective ways to manage what they discover about themselves. When children engage with this workbook, they’ll be empowered to choose their best self, more often. More importantly, they’ll practice uncovering what blocks them from being comfortable with who they are.” —Kelli Love, MEd, is an educator and consultant in the field of mindfulness in education. She created the short film, Aliza and the Mind Jar
~Kelli Love, MEd
“This workbook is a treasure! Through a series of practical and engaging activities, children learn about what anxiety looks and feels like in Stressed-Out Me. Children also get to know their Mindful Me and practice core tools of mindfulness. Many examples are provided so that children can apply these skills to manage anxiety, perfectionism, and everyday stress in different situations, such as tests, social situations, and emergency drills. With the prevalence of anxiety in youth, this book is a must for children, teachers, clinicians, and parents.” —Amanda Nickerson, PhD, professor in the department of school psychology and director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York; and coauthor of School Crisis Prevention and Intervention
~Amanda Nickerson, PhD
“Statistics indicate that anxiety is rising both in adults and children; kids are noticing the anxiety in their adults’ lives. Mindfulness for Anxious Kids is a really important book because it helps young readers both identify and address their worries. This practical guide teaches kids to root themselves in breathing; it actually provides action guides. From the get-go the book instructs children to ask for support when they notice stress. The book teaches them how and where stress resides in the body, and provides relaxation tools to help them disconnect from the stress. The authors adeptly teach children how to get out of their heads to ‛be right here right now.’ They even describe a lovely worry tree where kids can leave their worries and then pick them up again when they are prepared to deal with them. I would keep this gem in the medicine cabinet.” —Laurie Grossman, director of social justice and educational equity at Inner Explorer, Inc., and cofounder of Mindful Schools