Even little ones need help coping with anxiety; worrying is part of life as an adult, and children can struggle to cope with the stresses and strains that their life throws at them. Something that appears to be a little worry to you, can be a very big thing for a three or four year old.
Worry Trees have been used by psychologists to help with fears for a number of years, and they can be a valuable tool in helping kids coping with anxiety they have. I have used them myself with my daughter, who is, just like me, prone to the odd anxious moment.
We have made some free resources for you to help you to talk to your children about their worries, and banish them to the branches of an apple worry tree!
It is a very simple idea:
- Get your child to cut out the tree and the apples to pop on the tree. You can laminate them if you like to keep them safe, but you don’t have to
- Talk to your child about what is worrying them, and if they are old enough get them to write down their fears on one of the apples
- Stick blue tac on the back of the apple so that they can be fitted on to the tree
- Stick the apple to the tree; now it has been talked about, and passed into the safe branches of the tree, your child can be encouraged that there is no need to worry anyway. You have chatted, and solved that worry
- If your child has any other worries, write them down on other apples and pop them on the tree
- For older children, they may not want to talk to you about the worry, but prefer to write it down and pop it on the tree themselves, and talk about it when they are ready. Remember it is their worry, and letting them write it down and place it on the tree is giving them an element of control back about that worry, which is all part of coping with anxiety. Anything that can help us feel like we are in control again is a big help.
We have also provided you with an outline of the worry tree so your child can colour it in themselves. We hope you like these. We definitely do!
We have also posted a video on our YouTube channel about this, to help give you further guidance in how to use it. Do nip on over and take a look at the channel – we are going to publish a printable every week on here and there!