Dawn, from the online shop My Higher Shelf, very kindly put together these tips for another mom who came to us and asked for help for her little boy .. a boy who had worries and anxieties and didn’t like to be alone. These are tried and tested techniques and resources that Dawn has used with her own daughter .. so it’s one mom passing on help to another mom.
We hope you find it useful for your child and please feel free to pass it on to any family that you feel may benefit from this great advice…
The best book on worrying I have seen is Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival. It’s a great little book about sharing our worries and not keeping them to ourselves.
The Koala Who Could is a great book about overcoming fears.
The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside has also been mentioned a lot by teachers.
I cam across this list below. The Kissing Hand is one that seems to come up again and again.
Breathing is really important with worrying. With anxiety, our brains think that we are in danger so it puts us into flight or flight mode. Breathing deeply and slowly allows our body to relax and lets us know that we are safe.
Breathe in for 4, hold for 4 and breathe out for 6.
You can just say them out loud yourself or you can buy some affirmation cards for kids. I got some at https://www.younghearts.ie/
Gratitude is a great thing to talk about with kids. It gets them to focus on the good stuff in their lives. It can completely change their attitudes. Even just asking him before he goes to bed to say one thing that he is grateful for today can help. Or starting a gratitude jar at home, where everyone writes something they are grateful for in the jar. It’s a brilliant habit to get into.
You can also buy gratitude journals for kids https://www.
There may be some products on this website to help like the guided meditations that you can put on before bed. Again, it’s all about feeling relaxed and breathing properly.
This is a tool that I use on my daughter if she feelsanxious. It basically retrains the brain to replace the anxiety with a happy feeling.
As he is going to bed, I would ask him how he feels when he is alone.
Ask him where he feels that feeling in his body? Is it his head? His heart? His tummy? Usually it’s the tummy.
Then I would ask him to see and feel that feeling starting to spin like a washing machine in his tummy. You can put your hand in front of his tummy and start to spin it around to help him visualise it.
Once you do that for a few minutes, tell him you are going to spin it the other way now and let him know that in a minute you are going to spin that feeling right out of him and up into the sky.
You can countdown and get him to help count as well. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
WHOOSH and you can use a gesture to help visualise the feelings leaving his body.
Now, ask him how he feels. He should be feeling better.
At this point, we are going to put the good stuff in so ask him to remember a time when he was really happy or imagine his family all around him giving him a hug. Ask him to elaborate on this. How did this feel? What does he see? Really get him into the feeling and tell him that anytime he needs to feel like that again is to imagine the time he was happy or his family all around him.
Thanks again to Dawn @myhighershelf
*Image courtesy of unsplash.com