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What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
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What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,432 ratings  ·  118 reviews
A Gold NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) winner

Did you know that worries are like tomatoes? No, you can't eat them, but you can make them grow, simply by paying attention to them. If your worries have grown so big that they bother you almost every day, this book is for you.What to Do When You Worry Too Much guides children and parents through the cognitive-beh
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 15th 2005 by Magination Press (first published September 1st 2005)
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Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
I know I'm not a kid, but there was a lot of stuff in this book that seemed really helpful. The author does a great job of explaining things--like the concepts of containment, externialization, and competing demands--in language that makes sense and that sticks in your mind. Containment, for example is the idea that milk in a carton is not a big obstacle in your life, but a gallon of milk without a carton or something to hold it is a mess. She also explains how worries are like tomato plants -- ...more
Diane Costello
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended by the pediatrician for my anxious 9 year old. We read it together over a week. The writing is a perfect combination of reassurance and encouragement. He is doing the suggested exercises without much reminding.

This book has convinced my son to keep trying and given him hope that he will overcome the worries. Also he has learned that he is not alone. So grateful to find this series! Next we will read the one called What to do when you dread your bed.

I love the specific exercises. Thi
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this to my girls, ages 10, 8, and 6, who all struggle from anxiety to one degree or another. They seemed to find it helpful. I think at the very least, it made them realize that there are other kids out there who have similar problems. I liked that there were concrete techniques presented, and I am hoping they will be useful.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Having never read a book about anxiety and not having much experience with it myself. I thought this book was really good for kids. I read it with my daughter who tends to worry a little bit. I thought maybe we could help her get her focus and thoughts back on track and where she could manage her worries. I recommend it for any young person that tends to worry.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Great for worries about imaginary or trivial worries. I'll remember Containment (milk in jug instead of in puddle), Externalization (set time to open Worry Box, talking back to the ugly critters), logic, meditation, distraction of exercise or other wholesome involving activity.

But not good for specific real worries. I have good reason to worry that I'm going blind. Some kids have good reason to worry that their parents are likely to divorce. Etc. I'm just not feeling that setting aside or shutti
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Great introduction to cognitive behavioral therapy for anxious kids (and their parents—the book presumes a high amount of parental participation).
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a book for young kids, but I got a lot out of it. It's a friendly, easy-to-access explanation of a few CBT techniques for managing generalized anxiety.

I initially borrowed it thinking it might help me in the parenting department, since at least one of my children deals with some anxiety, and it surpassed my expectations. While I have more or less used these techniques myself, I've never given much thought to what I was doing, exactly, and have had a hard time putting them into words. Re
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I never felt like I got my money's worth so quickly from a book I bought for work like this one! So simple, so practical. My child clients love it and so do I.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-ya
A good book to help kids and parents deal with anxiety!
Ellie  Flude
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great blend of encouragement and reassurance for children who suffer from anxiety. I particularly like the use of language that provides gentle ideas for children to discuss and reflect upon, as well as the use of images guide the reader through the chapters. Throughout each chapter there are spaces for children to share their own worries, including ideas of how to overcome negative thought cycles.
Allison Salmon
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent workbook for helping an elementary school child with their anxiety. It has a great mix of text and activities that help to build a mental tool set that you can reference long after you have completed the workbook. It does a fantastic job of making CBT techniques approachable to kids. I worked through this workbook with my daughter and a year later we are still using the techniques. It's not a cure to anxiety, because there is no cure, but it definitely help with openly talki ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Huebner has created a guide for children to overcome their anxiety through the usage of cognitive-behavioral techniques and explaining anxiety in a way that children can relate to. I love the suggestions of daily activities children can do to help them with anxiety, like talk time, worry time, and using logic. While the book is a guide for children, parents could use this book as a guide for children who are not able to read or for children who need the extra support.
I love this book! I am thinking of getting one for my adult children and one for myself! It has very easy ways to approach and deal with worry. I love the story about how worry is like a tomato plant and the more you tend it the more it grows. Everyone, no matter the age should read this book or even have one to lend out to someone who worries too much.
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
I'm loving this series of books - cognitive-behavioral techniques in kid-friendly language. I'm hoping I can find a way to make use of them at school, but I'll certainly recommend them to any parents I know.
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Gold NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) winner

Did you know that worries are like tomatoes? No, you can't eat them, but you can make them grow, simply by paying attention to them. If your worries have grown so big that they bother you almost every day, this book is for you.What to Do When You Worry Too Much guides children and parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of anxiety. Lively metaphors and humorous illustrations make the concepts
Kirsten Himmerich
Book Title: What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
Author/Illustrator: Dawn Huebner/ Bonnie Matthews
Reading Level: MG
Book Level: 3.4
Book Summary: This book helps explain the way worry works (through the use of a tomato plant) and gives children and parents practical ways to combat worry and anxiety.
Bookshelf Mentor Writing Traits: The writing traits I chose for this mentor text are ideas and voice. The idea of an informational text on worry is empowering and offe
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
This is a great book. Good counseling steps to deal with worry. Nice comparison of growing worry to growing tomatoes. I'm excited to check out other books in the series. Definitely written for children, but I think it could be just as useful for adults.

How to Beat the Worries:
Use logic against worries.
Lock worries up in a strong box in your mind.
Make worries wait for worry time.
Tell worries to GET LOST!
Move your body to reset your system.
Relax with a favorite memory.
Stay strong in your body and
Jacqueline Carthew
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice little help guide which simplifies the steps to coping with anxiety, so makes it easier for kids to understand, and for parents to offer support.

This was my responsible parent read, as I bought it for my son but figured that I really needed to ensure it was suitable, and read it first. Am so glad I did otherwise I would have been baffled when he starts metaphoring anxiety as tomatoes at me !
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-stuff, nonfiction
I picked this up on a recommendation from a friend. Overall, I thought it was a good book, but too young to be very helpful with my own child. I think this would be excellent for the younger set though or someone with more generalized anxiety. I would say this might be particularly useful to kids in the 5-8 year range.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This seems like it's a really good book. I like how it explains anxiety to kids and helps them to fight it. However, I haven't actually tried these practices on a kid so I don't know if they actually work. That's the only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars. Once I try it on a kid I'm sure I'll be changing my review.
Adam Arzberger
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book does have some useful frameworks for helping children to manage their anxiety but many of them are too open to the interpretation that worries can and perhaps should just be pushed aside, ignored or forced to the back of the mind which, of itself is unhelpful and can make the child feel more desperate when they ‘fail’ to do so. There are some useful exercises and analogies in this book but each require some careful thought as a parent/carer to ensure that the child has some help with t ...more
Brook Packard
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally, I got this book as a research aid for blog posts on bedtime and anxiety. However like so many children's CBT workbooks, "What to Do When You Worry Too Much" will help adults manage their own anxiety. The illustrations are adorable and the exercises excellent. A quick read, but a long-time process. I'll be returning to the exercises and adapting them for myself.
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Our family read this together and found it to include some very helpful tools for dealing with anxiety. Also, it opened up discussion with the kids to understand that everyone has anxiety but there is a range. Some kids feel it much stronger than others - and that's okay - the tools can help everyone.

We recommend this to other kids.
Rachel Fellows
A wonderful practical guide for helping kids deal with stress and anxiety. It frames anxiety and worry is a way that is tangible and gives excellent tips to help overcome worry, stress, and anxiety. Honestly, this is a good book for anxious adults, too!
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This workbook simplifies some basic cognitive behavioral theories for reducing anxiety. It talks about worry being normal, but the second half talks about how to get rid of the excess worry. Another good thing is that it also encourages parental involvement.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Read this a few years back but have only included it now. My favourite all time children's book. Used it with my kids and still do worry time every night. I recommend all of Huebners books for any parent with children with anxiety or OCD.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
excellent book for children and Adults who would like simple steps to overcome worry and anxiety. I read it, so that I can advise my children when they worry too much.
Very easy to follow, easy to understand and the analogy between planting a tomato and worrying is fantastic. Great work
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
went through this book with my daughter and it was helpful to her. we will probably go through it again before the next school year starts.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really great resource for anyone with an anxious child.
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Dawn Huebner, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in the treatment of anxious children and their parents. She is the author of 9 books, including the bestselling What to Do When You Worry Too Much and more recent, Outsmarting Worry.

Dr. Huebner recognized the need for lively, easy-to-read take-home materials to help children practice the strategies they were learning in her office. She cre

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