Our nervous systems are designed to receive their distress. Fight or flight in them raises fight or flight in us - to get our bodies ready to fight for them or flee with them.
When they’re in actual danger, it’s a brilliant response, but ‘danger’ is about what the brain perceives.
Big feelings and behaviour are a sign of a brain that has registered ‘threat’. A felt sense of relational threat and emotional threat all count as ‘threat’.
This can happen any time there is any chance at all of humiliation, judgement, missing out on something important, felt disconnection, not feeling seen, heard, validated, not having the resources for the immediate demands (stress).
Think of this in terms of interruption, transition times, sibling arguments, coming home after a big day at school.
When the threat isn’t a true physical danger, there is nothing to fight with or flee from (except maybe siblings and instructions).
This is when the fight or flight that’s been raised in us can move us to fight with them (we might get irritated, frustrated, angry, annoyed, raise our voices) or flee from them.
These are really valid feelings and signs of things working as they should, but it’s what we do in response that matters.
Think of it this way. Brains don’t care for the difference between actual danger and things that are safe, but annoying or upsetting. They all count as ‘danger’.
Pause for a moment, and see that this is a young person with a brain that doesn’t feel ‘safe’ right now. Whether it’s emotionally safe, relationally safe, physically safe - they all matter.
First, they need to be brought back to safety. We’ll do this most powerfully through relationship - co-regulation, validation, touch.
In practice this looks like breathe (to calm your nervous system so you can recalibrate theirs), be with (validate with or without words - let them feel you believing them and not needing anything from them in that moment), and wait.
If you need to hold a boundary, add that in (‘I won’t let you …’) but don’t take relationship away.
Then, when they are calm, have the chat - ‘What happened?’ ‘What can we do to put things right?’ ‘What might next time look like?’♥️
Krow F (verified owner) –
This is a fun, yet powerful book of magic that I bought for my grandchildren and another copy for a friend’s counselling office! The number of kids today suffering anxiety symptoms is beyond concerning. I will be ordering copies to donate to the school as well so that more kids can access the support it offers.
Crystal M (verified owner) –
My 9 year old daughter loved this book so much, she took it to school and asked her teacher if she could present it to her class because she thought it would help some of her classmates as well (her teacher was very sweet and supportive, and loved the book as well). It explains anxiety in a simple yet beautiful way for children (and adults too) and helped my daughter understand why she feels the way she does. She likes that she has a protector but she’s still in charge, which gave her back some power. The checklists at the end of the book were a big hit. We have tried a few different books to explain anxiety to kids and this is by far the best one we’ve found. Highly recommend if you have children struggling with anxiety.
Emily (verified owner) –
Such an excellent book for helping people understand and ease anxiety. I’ve used this book with my children, recommended it to friends, and colleagues. I work in a pediatric office and we love the book so much and regularly recommend to our patients.
Sharyn C (verified owner) –
Hey Warrior is a wonderful resource to share with children and families. It is written in such a child friendly way and is relevant for children of a wide age range.
Andrea W –
As a therapist working with traumatized children for the last 20 years, this is my all time favorite books. I recommend it over and over and read it to countless families and children. It is also my go to gift for the students that I supervise!!
L Brown (verified owner) –
Bought this book after hearing a recommendation. Grandmother here and my grandchildren are all almost too old for the book. Bought one, ordered 2 more within the next month. On top of a wonderful, easy to understand book the shipping – tracking was phenomenal.
This is a fantastic description and breakdown for anxiety for kids. Very helpful to understand, even as an adult
K Smith (verified owner) –
I bought a hardback copy of this book for every teacher, admin, and student support staff in our school!! It is a big hit and it is changing everyone’s approach to our “anxiety” kids. Some adults have told me already that it is helping them and their families as well. Highly recommend!!
Tracey (verified owner) –
Beautifully written and beautifully illustrated! I will get so much use from this book, working with primary aged children!
Jessica (verified owner) –
Excellent book. I will use this book often, as a mental health therapist working with youth in Canada.
Shayna (verified owner) –
I absolutely love this book! My kids Elementary school in Canada is doing a unit on mental health and the principal read this book to every class. My 7 year old with anxiety came home talking about his warrior and how it sometimes makes him have anxiety. The conversation was so good that I had to get the book for myself. (and I bought a couple extra for gifts). I love the conversations we have every time we read this book together and what it has done for my son to help him understand his feelings. I also got the Hey Awesome and We’re not Lions books as well, I would recommend them to everyone!
MrsDavi (verified owner) –
Book and stuffy are very nice quality. Love how anxiety is presented in this book. My 8 & 6 yr old recognized which family members might be struggling with anxiety after reading this. So happy with this purchase!
Krista G –
As a school counselor, this is an AMAZING resource to explore anxiety and the somatization with young children.
Autumn A –
Sue (verified owner) –
This book is awesome! I a counselor and I use it all the time with kids.
Jamie K –
This book is amazing! My 11 year old son has really struggled in the last year with fear and anxiety. This book made him feel like someone finally put his feelings into words!
Laura B (verified owner) –
Wonderful book for children and adults alike! I purchased this for my son who struggles with anxiety but it also helped me as well. The schools guidance counselor loved it so much she borrowed my copy until hers arrives so she could use it with the students this fall.
Tina S (verified owner) –
Love this treasureI Not just for kids! I use it with adults who I work with who struggle with anxiety. We all need a good dose of understanding why our body reacts the way it does when it does and that is what this book does. The images are comforting without being too childish.
Karen S (verified owner) –
Absolutely incredible. As a licensed therapist I am thrilled with this book. Parents love it and are interested in buying it as well! 10 stars!
Aleksandra S (verified owner) –
‘Hey Warrior’ is an amazing book to help anxious children. It is empowering, positive and provides kids with practical tools whilst helping parents put words on a complex topic. My 7 year old boy suffers from anxiety and it flared up after we moved interstate and he had to change school. Now he understands how his warrior works and what he can do to keep it in check. More importantly, he feels safe and more confident. I couldn’t recommend it enough!
Brad P –
After sitting in my car with my daughter for over an hour trying to help her overcome her anxiety about school, I realized this was very real and I knew I needed professional help. I searched the internet and found your website. Thank you for sharing your expertise and for giving some insight into anxiety. We read the content of your website together and several times my daughter would shake her head yes and say, “that’s it, I experience all of these symptoms”. We immediately purchased Hey Warrior. We love the book and now my daughter feels like she has coping mechanisms and does not feel alone in her anxiety. We love the book and I am so thankful that you gave us tools. Now my daughter can choose to be brave and overcome her anxiety. It not only helped my daughter; it helped mom & dad. We tried so many things but they did not work!!! Thank you!
Brad P –
After sitting in front of my daughters school for an hour because she was experiencing anxiety. I immediately searched online to find something to relate and give her comfort. I found your website. We read the content of your website together and immediately purchase Hey Warrior. She is 10 and repeatedly shook her head yes and told me “that’s it”. “That is how I feel”. We used a few of the suggestions on your website and we were able to walk her into her class. Thank you for sharing and for giving us some coping mechanisms to allow her to be “brave” and gave her anxiety. So thankful and we love the book.
Nicole F (verified owner) –
As a mother and a licensed counselor this book is one of the best I have read to my daughters. They love the graphics and answered the questions at the end which added insight! Highly recommend!