Resources to Help Kids Learn Emotional Resiliency Skills


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Help Kids Be Happy!

Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life by Carol McCloud

This book teaches the difference between healthy and unhealthy behavior. It helps kids become aware of the things that make them, or others, feel as if their bucket was filled—or dipped into.

You can have discussions with your children about specific behaviors they have observed (including the most subtle behaviors that are indicative of emotional abuse) and why those behaviors are "filling" or "dipping into" their bucket.

Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness is recommended for children ages 8 and up. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? is for children ages 3-7.


Help Kids Understand Unconditional Love!

With Max Lucado's Wemmick Stories!

These are THE BEST. I can't recommend them highly enough. They have shaped my own view of God and people in profound ways. You Are Special is the first one in the series that introduces you and your child to the Wemmicks, wooden people created with love by the Woodcarver. They are silly and lovable, and they teach us timeless truths about God's unconditional love for His creation. You are Mine comes next, followed by If Only I Had a Green Nose, Best of All, The Most Marvelous Gift, and Your Special Gift. You can get all six of them on one volume HERE!

Other wonderful books for kids by Max Lucado include The Oak Inside the Acorn (a priceless story that will resonate with adults as well), Children of the King, Just in Case You Ever Wonder (both of these books teach reassure children of unconditional love), and Because I Love You

Help Kids Know What To Do When Life Gets Hard! 

These interactive books are geared toward children ages 6-12 and are EXCELLENT at teaching many of the skills your children would learn in professional therapy sessions. They include What to Do When You Worry Too Much, What to Do When Your Temper Flares, What to Do When Your Fear Interferes, What to Do When You Grumble Too Much, What to Do When it's Not Fair, What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck (OCD), What to Do When Bad Habits Take Hold, and What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake


Help Kids Process Trauma!

Help Your Dragon Cope with Trauma by Steve Herman

There are dozens of books in this Dragon series to help kids deal with everything from anxiety to grief to Autism to Diversity. This one helps children understand, articulate, and process traumatic events. It's also a helpful teaching tool for parents to understand the symptoms to look for in a child who has experienced trauma. The good news is that with adult support and empathy, children can process through trauma, heal, and come out on the other side healthy, well-adjusted individuals. 

The Dragon Book Series is recommended for children ages 4-8.

Help Kids Cope with Fear!

It Will Be Okay by Lysa TerKeurst

This is a beautiful illustrated story to help children understand and cope with changes in their lives and reminds them that God is always with them in every change. I recommend It Will Be Okay for children ages 4-10. 

Once I Was Very Scared by Chandra Ghosh Ippen

Different children respond in all kinds of different ways to fear. By showing the different responses of animal characters, Once I Was Very Scared gives language to children about the ways they might be responding so they can talk about their fear more opening with a caring adult. Important if you suspect a child has experienced trauma. Recommended for ages 2-10. 


Help Kids Grow in Self-Awareness!

Listening to My Body and Listening with My Heart by Gabi Garcia

Listening to My Body helps children figure out the connection between the sensations they experience in their bodies and their emotions so they can increase self-awareness and process their emotions in a healthy way. 

Listening with My Heart helps children grasp the importance of caring for...THEMSELVES! Of being kind and supportive and compassionate toward themselves when they make mistakes in life. Develops emotional resiliency necessary for taking risks. 

Protect Kids From Sexual Abuse!

God Made All of Me by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb

Precious book that gently explains to small children the importance of all their body parts and the difference between safe and unsafe touch. It also talks about the difference between secrets and surprises. Recommended for children ages 2-8.  

Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept by Jayneen Sanders

Tastefully written story about a young knight who is groomed and eventually violated by his mother's employer. The book shows the little boy's dilemma in keeping a secret that his abuser is using to threaten his mother's job. Eventually the boy tells his mother who believes and protects him. Recommended for ages 5-10. 


Help Kids Live Life to the Fullest!

What Do You Do with a Problem? and What Do You Do with a Chance? by Kobi Yamada

Artfully illustrated, these books come in a boxed set (What You Do Matters) along with a third book called What Do You Do With an Idea? 

They will teach your kids that chances, problems, and ideas are not as scary as we might think. They are the stuff of life, and what we do with them will shape our destiny. 

Recommended for children ages 4-10.

Help Kids NOT Grow Up to Be Narcissists!

My Mouth is a Volcano and It's Not My Fault! by Julia Cook

These are a few books in a series by Julia Cook that teaches children how to be responsible for their thoughts and behaviors. Other books include I Just Don't Like the Sound of No, That Rule Doesn't Apply to Me, Thanks for the Feedback, and a bunch more! Perfect for elementary age kids.



Help Kids Learn Empathy!

The Invisible Boy by Patrice Barton

I love this story. The pictures are precious, and I can relate to the little boy nobody seems to care about or notice until a new boy comes to town, and everything changes. With 716 five-star ratings on Amazon, you know you can't go wrong. Ages 5-9.

You, Me and Empathy by Jayneen Sanders

Another super sweet book with lovely pictures that teach kindness and compassion as well as exposing bully behavior. Ages 3-8


Help Kids Learn About Their Creator!

Imaginative Prayer by Jared Patrick Boyd

This book helps children connect with God by using Scripture and their imagination. Genius. We read one of these prayers every night before we go to sleep. Great for ages 5-12.

Telling God's Story by Peter Enns

If you want to ground your children in the love of Jesus Christ, this is a great place to start. Set up to be more of a devotional book, it's good to read to kids ages 5-12.

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd Jones

Each page in this book has a beautiful art picture and a paragraph of thoughts that really DO make your heart sing. I love this book.



Give Kids Hope and Courage!

Kingdom Tales by David and Karen Mains

This set of three books is a family favorite. The versions we have are old, but the link above will take you to a newer version that has gorgeous racially diverse paintings to illustrate the stories. We have used these as read-alouds before bedtime for kids ages 6-12. 

Help Kids Understand Consequences!

What if Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick

This is one in a set of three book by this author that helps children (in a light hearted way) understand how actions have consequences. The other two books in this series include What if Everybody Thought That? and What if Everybody Said That?

It's Okay to Be Different by Sharon Purtill

Helps children embrace diversity and show kindness and respect toward others who are not like them. Kids ages 5-8


Help Kids Accept Themselves Just the Way They Are!

Just Because You're Mine by Sally Lloyd Jones

Little Nut Brown Hare wants to know why his daddy loves him. Is it because of what he does or how he looks? Adorable illustrations and a beautiful message. 

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

Written by a woman who knows what it means to grow up being bullied, this book sends an important message to all of us. Ages 3-8 for both of these books.

Help Kids Identify Dysfunctional Adult Behavior!

The King and Queen of Mean by Lynne Namka

This is a book you will want to process WITH your child, but it is really the only. book I've found so far that is bold enough to talk about how ADULTS can be totally dysfunctional toward kids. It gives language to what some kids are experiencing from the adults in their lives and helps them understand that the problem is with the adult - not the child. 

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Lewis nails every kind of dysfunctional human being possible in his beloved Narnia series. If you don't like reading out loud, get them all seven of them for one price on Audible HERE. (It's got 3,454 five-star ratings on Audible!)



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