My daughter is 8 and I would defiantly call her a worrier. I can’t recall when or how this started, but it has got worse over these last few years and has had an impact on her confidence and how she approaches day to day things.
She was keen to do extra activities outside of school – she took up a dance class after school and loved learning new moves each week. One evening the teacher mentioned they will do a performance to parents at the end of term – this then became a problem for my daughter – she started worrying – she didn’t want to perform in front of other people. We kept asking her why, but all we got back was her shouting “BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO” -?? I suggested to her that I didn’t have to go and watch, but she still worried about the other parents. She ended up dropping out and didn’t finish the term.
She was really keen to do Trampoline lessons – so we went to a taster session to see if she would like it. – She didn’t even bounce once!! – The teacher was sympathetic to her, but as she was surrounded by people “watching her” she just sat there and cried. She wanted to do it – she kept getting angry with herself – shouting at herself to try and do it, but something was holding her back. Again, we tried talking to her – but it came down to the same thing as before – she didn’t like people watching.
This then started at school – her class assembly was approaching, she had been learning her lines at home. But then the worrying started. She wouldn’t sleep – she would call us into her room just to discuss things she was thinking at around 11pm!! I wanted to go to her assembly and see her, but suggested to her if she didn’t want me to go – then I didn’t have to. She wanted me to go in the end – which I did, but she wouldn’t say her lines out loud – her teacher ended up saying her part.
This above is what has happened over the last couple of years – she is starting to get better and she is doing a little bit more at a time (today she had a class assembly and she read her sentence out loud!) 😁
We have also enrolled her into Brownies – she’s just had her 3rd session and is enjoying it! – but as ‘promise’ evening is arriving – where she will have to say her Brownies Promise in front of the unit and parents – this has started to play on her mind and is now asking about it on a night fairly regularly – again I think it’s having an effect on her sleeping! – We are working on it though!!
I came across these Worry Monsters a couple of years ago and didn’t know what to think of them – The idea is, your child goes to bed and writes or draws down their worry on a piece of paper and puts it into the monsters mouth. This then gives the child a little peace of mind - because as adults – we get told to write our worries and thoughts down and we can feel better in doing so - as a little weight can be lifted from our mind. This applies in the same way to children too.
Once the child is asleep the adult then takes the worry from the monsters mouth. This to the child will be like the monster has eaten their worry, but you then get to look at this worry. – I like this idea – my daughter doesn’t speak openly to us about what worries her, but if she confides in the monster – then so be it – it will hopefully make her feel better and we will then be able to read what is on her mind. With this information we then can subtly be able to help her and talk to her more about what she has wrote down.
Therefore the very thoughtful Father Christmas will be bringing one of these Worry Monsters to my daughter this year and hopefully this will start working for us.
There have been lots of positive results from parents with children who have anxiety problems and children with ADHD – as they sometimes also find it hard to express their feelings and will also confide in their monster with these worries and thoughts.
We therefore have added a selection of Worry Monsters available to buy on our website. I hope they will also help your child by writing or drawing their thoughts to the monster. 😊