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Inside: Discover a list of wonderful books that are great for teaching kids how to manage strong emotions, deal with anger, overcome fears and worries, and navigate challenging situations they face as they grow up.
“This is exactly how I feel sometimes!”, my son suddenly exclaimed as we were reading a book about worry.
“I never thought other people feel the same way”, he added with a sigh of relief. “Keep reading, I want to hear more!”
As I was reading the next pages, I felt so grateful for that book that helped my son learn more about worries and feel more empowered to deal with them!
It’s not always easy to get him to open up about his feelings, and books were many times the best tool for me to use to connect with him, encourage him to explore his emotions, and teach him helpful ways to deal with them.
Helping kids develop their social-emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do as parents, and reading books is such a powerful way to inspire meaningful conversations about emotions and self-regulation.
I started reading books about emotions to my oldest son when he was a toddler, and I kept using stories to help him develop his emotional intelligence ever since.
Over the years, I discovered many wonderful books that are great for teaching kids how to manage strong emotions, deal with anger, overcome fears and worries, and navigate challenging situations they face as they grow up.
If you are looking for books that can help you boost your child’s emotional intelligence, I put together a list of our favorite books about emotions, self-control, and self-regulation.
They helped us a lot with starting conversations about feelings and emotional regulations, and I’m pretty sure you and your kids will enjoy them as well!
Books that help kids recognize and name their emotions
The first step toward helping kids develop their emotional intelligence is teaching them how to recognize and name their emotions.
Here are some books that will help kids explore emotions and get a better understanding of how they feel.
1. In My Heart: A Book of Feelings – This is my favorite book about emotions for kids because it celebrates all the feelings and makes it easy for kids to identify and express them.
2. The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions – This is a great book for young kids who need to learn how to recognize and name their emotions.
3. All About Feelings – This book is great for starting conversations with the kids about their feelings and teach them helpful ways to manage strong emotions.
4. What are Feelings? – This interactive book helps kids explore feelings like happiness, sadness, anger, fear, or worry in a playful way.
5. Glad Monster, Sad Monster – This book offers kids a fun, interactive way to explore feelings as the colorful monsters in the story act out different emotions.
6. Grumpy Monkey – The book shares the story of a chimpanzee in a very bad mood and offers an important lessons about allowing kids to express all their feelings.
7. Listening to My Body – This book is a guide meant to help kids understand the connection between the sensations they feel in their bodies and the emotions that cause them.
8. The Way I Feel – This book is great for teaching kids how to identify and name their emotions.
Books that help kids deal with anger, fears, and worries
As parents, we often face situations when our kids are overwhelmed by emotions. If your kids need help dealing with anger, fears, or worries, here is a list that will help you approach these topics in a playful way.
9. When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry… – This story about the way a girl acts when feeling angry can inspire helpful conversation about healthy ways of dealing with anger.
10. When Miles Got Mad – This story is perfect for young kids who struggle with emotional regulation and gives parents the opportunity to start conversations about handling anger in a positive way.
11. Ruby Finds a Worry – This story teaches kids how to deal with worry and how important it is to talk about their feeling when they feel overwhelmed.
12. Wemberly Worried – This book shares the story of a mouse who worries about the first day of school, and can help you encourage your kids to open up about their own worries and learn how to deal with anxiety.
13. Jabari Jumps – This story about a boy who was afraid to jump off the diving board offers will encourage kids to overcome their fears and try new experiences even if they seem scary at first.
14. I Need My Monster – This fun story is perfect for kids who deal with monster fears.
15. After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) – The book shares Humpty Dumpty’s journey to overcome his fears and find the courage to get back up after a fall.
16. Scaredy Squirrel – This books shares a playful story about a squirrel that will help kids deal with their irrational fears and overcome them.
17. Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree – This story is a great tool for parents to use to help kids deal with anxiety and manage their worries easier.
18. What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety – This is a very helpful guide to use with older kids (ages 6-12) to help them understand anxiety and learn ways to overcome their worries.
19. Don’t Feed The WorryBug – This story offers the perfect opportunity to start conversations with the kids about worries and anxiety.
Books that teach kids about self-regulation and self-control
Being able to control and regulate their emotions in a healthy way is such an important skill for kids to develop.
Here is a list of books that will help you start helpful conversations about making good choices and keeping emotions under control.
20. What Should Danny Do? – This is an interactive book that allows kids to make choices and decide how the story will continue, offering a fun and playful way to teach social-emotional skills.
(Here is another book in this series that is great for school-aged kids: What Should Danny Do? School Day.)
21. What Were You Thinking? (Learning to Control Your Impulses) – This book shares the story of a 3rd grader who is learning how to control his impulses, and it’s a great read for kids who struggle with impulse control.
22. Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere – This is our favorite book about mindfulness for kids! It includes 30 strategies for kids to use when they need to calm down (and it provides some great ideas for parents as well).
23. The Very Impatient Caterpillar – This story about metamorphosis is perfect for kids who struggle with being patient.
24. My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing – The lovely book teaches kids how to regain their calm using mindful breathing.
25. My Mouth Is A Volcano – This book teaches kids how to manage their emotions and words and avoid interrupting conversations.
Other books that will boost your kids’ emotional intelligence
Here is a bonus list of lovely books that will help your kids develop their social-emotional skills.
26. The Invisible Boy – a heartwarming story about kindness and friendship that will inspire kids to help other children feel included
27. You, Me and Empathy – a great book for helping kids understand how other people are feeling and teach them about kindness and empathy
28. Be Kind – a wonderful picture book about kindness
29. Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids – a lovely book that encourages positive behavior and kindness
30. Enemy Pie – a great story that teaches kids how to make friends, deal with conflict in a healthy way
31. Duck & Goose, Goose Needs a Hug – a lovely book about friendship for young kids
More resources that will help kids manage strong emotions