How to Deal with Stress Through Childhood Within the Realms of Reading

The stress-bug never really goes away once its bitten you. Here are 9 books for all ages to understand what stress is and how to overcome these hurdles.

Lifestyle Memoirs & Biographies Recommendations Wellness Young Adult
A little boy appearing to be stressed, with the art piece, 3 books to the side with all about aniexty Everything is okay, Just a thought

Stress is a feeling of doom, gloom, and anxiety laced with neverending worrying. At every stage of our lives, stress rests on our shoulders. It can be an uncontrollable, time-consuming, terrible ache in your head — it may never seem to go away. Of course, there are methods to absolve these feelings: going to therapy, talking to family, journaling, exercising, or as simple as taking a deep breath in and out, slow and steady. 

But wherever shall you begin? At what age does stress become dooming? The reality is that kids as little as three years old have similar feelings of stress like any other adults. From fits or rages of temper tantrums to the trying times of the preteen era to the troubling ages of teens and young adults, stress never really goes away. Here are some books to guide young readers’ minds on handling life’s stresses. Whether big or small, there are methods to overcoming this common feeling.

Ages: 3-7

A Terrible Thing Happened, The Calm Down Jar, Just a Thought book cover, with books across the boards with teal in the background

As young as three, the little ones stomping up and down the sidewalks demanding attention have stress. Could it be as little as them screaming and crying over a lollipop? Probably. But instead of ignoring their wales or giving them what they want, give them the tools to regulate their feelings. The Calm Down Jar, A Terrible Thing Happened, and Just a Thought discuss where, how, and why emotions arise and how to reugalte them. These are the years in which kids are exploring new experiences for the first time, and what better way to experience those moments than by reading books to help with emotionally charged situations when the time comes? Start healthy habits at a young age.

Ages: 8-12

All about anxiety about, outsmarting worry, what are you feeling with books across the boards with teal in the background

Stress does not discriminate. Life stressors may come into full effect at the ages of eight and twelve. School, family, friends, and everything can be all too much to understand when processing feelings. What Are You Feeling?, All About Anxiety, and Outsmarting Worry will describe what anxiety is and how to cope with healthier techniques. Topics such as this can be a bit childish in nature or uninteresting, so for our choices, we wanted books that would entice and enrich our readers, whether through illustrated storytelling or hilarious wordplay.

Ages: 13+

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Everything is Ok, My Anxiety Handbook covers with books across the boards with teal in the background

The dreaded teen years… the times when adults may or may not fully understand their children. Everything Is OK discusses the other issues, such as depression and how that could add to the stress of it all — and recounts one person’s individual experience through graphic novel techniques. My Anxiety Handbook and Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers ultimately describe what and how stress festers and the ways of dismantling it. These titles will help bridge the gap between teens and adults. This is a trying time that can’t be distinguished when there is miscommunication. Have open conversations with teens as they go through life as they read along.

Stress is neverending. It comes and goes in life like waves in the ocean. Hopefully, our list helped you and your endeavors as parents, educators, and guardians of young people. And who knows — maybe you’ll be picking a book or two for yourself!

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