Three easy steps to help children 6 and up, worry less.
by Susie E. Caron (c) 8/3/2014
Everyone worries from time to time, even children. However, when kids worry too much, parents become concerned. Here are three easy steps to help your children to conquer troublesome worries and ultimately worry less.
Step #1. Go shopping with your child to buy his or her own 'worry box.' You can get any kind of box, with a lid. It could have a slot at the top, or just a lid that opens. A lock is ok too. Let your child help because you want your child to know he/she is important. Also, buy some colored sticky notes and a nice pen.
Step #2. Instruct your child that this box is only for worries. The box will keep the worries safe every day, until "worry time". When a worry pops into your child's mind, the child must write it on a single sticky note. The note is then put into the box. One worry only - to each sticky note. The child keeps the box in a safe and accessible place.
Note: If a worry that was previously written on a sticky note comes to mind, the child is to say to the worry: " I'm not going to think about you because you are in the box. I'll worry about you when I open the box at WORRY TIME." (see step #3).
Next: Here comes the best part and it must be practiced!!!
Step #3. Once every day it is Worry Time!
At a pre-determined time, selected by you and your child,
(but never right before bed) your child is to sit down, open the box and set a timer for 15 minutes. Then one by one,the child must worry, on purpose while reading each and every sticky note item. At the end of the time, all the worries go back into the box and are not to be thought about again until "worry time" the next day. If the child doesn't get to all of them, that's ok, the box keeps them safe until worry time the next day.
How does this help kids to NOT worry? At first kids generate a great number of sticky note worries. As time goes by they notice that some of the worries no longer apply, or have been solved, or really don't matter as much as they originally thought. Those sticky notes can be thrown in the trash. That feels good! Kids (and adults who practice this) soon figure out that they can control more of what they think about. Also at the beginning, they are very committed and serious about their "Worry Time". However, as time goes by they begin to realize the futility of sitting down to worry because nothing gets solved that way. Eventually, the little worry box gets less and less use. However, most kids will keep it just to remind themselves that if they need it, their worry box will keep their worries safe, while they go on to do the much more important and fun things in their lives.
If you found this article helpful,or if you have found a way to help kids to not worry, please leave a comment below.
Keep up your good work as parents.
Twee' means you and me.
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!