Anxious children: Helping them not to worryMy daughter worries ALL THE TIME, she is one of the anxious children at school; though she does seem to come across as more resilient there than she is at home I think….

I wrote about this a while back, when we had a long discussion about what would happen to her room when she moved out. She was 6 at the time….

However, in the last week it appears the worrying has hit epic proportions, and when I say Epic, I mean EPIC…kind of like the tide, a worry comes out, and you think you have managed to make it subside with your uber brilliant parenting advice, and then another worry wave hits you, and you have to fend that one off too.

I am trying to surf those worry waves, but its bl**dy hard work.

Every night for a week we have been talking for 30-45 minutes before bed about the worries she has. My “parenting advice blog brain” (not sure I really have one of those, but hey) said that it could be attention…

And perhaps it is, but its one hell of a complicated way to seek attention…

“Mummy, Why are there people in the world that aren’t very nice to you?

Were those tests I did this week (SATS) to see which classes I would be in at school? (Both the school and I have said nothing to her about SATS, she seems to be coming up with her own ideas)

I don’t think I am doing well enough in my Maths mummy – I am not good enough

Mummy, why did god make nits? (More on this one when I have the strength)

Why are boys always so silly? (Something we will never fathom my dear)

I don’t know any of the teachers at junior school – I am scared, mummy

Mummy, why do I worry so much about things?”

And so on.

Trying to provide reassurance is absolutely shattering for me, as there is always another question, and something else worrying her…..

But I keep going. I know that these are important worries to my little one, and if I don’t help her with them now, then she won’t come to me when the worries are bigger, and maybe more important to our adult eyes and ears.

What happens if I ignore her thoughts about friends, her classes, and her SATS now; and then she has fears about boyfriends, sex, and exams later? She won’t come to me if she doesn’t think I value her worries, will she?

I wanted to help ease her fears, so we came up with three ideas:

  1. A worry tree; she could pin her thoughts on a tree in an apple, and then they would be shared, and so no-longer a worry
  2. A set of worry beads; she could pass the beads through her hands so that the worries would be passed on
  3. A set of worry jewels; she could hold a jewel and say her worry out loud and then put the worry in a pretty bag – gone.


Mummy, I am worried people will see the tree when they come round

Mummy, I am worried the worry beads won’t work…

So we went for the jewels!

What have you used to help ease your child’s worries – do you have a worry bead/tree/stones/jewels – do let us know below – any advice is much appreciated!