Reading time less than 2 min.
Various types of anxiety problems are common in children. Usually the child suffers from unrealistic, unfounded or imaginary worries or fears that are difficult for them to get rid of. The fears can be related to just about anything; boogy man, bugs, being rediculed, making mistakes, getting lost, etc.
In order to get rid of unrealistic fears or worries children often use methods that give them temporary relief from anxiety but do not help them in the long run to get rid of their fears. Such methods include, among others, avoiding situations, superstitious rituals and seeking reassurance from adults ("are you sure nothin bad will happen?", ”are you certain that the door is locked?”).
Adults can teach anxious children more useufl means of controlling anxiety and getting rid of imaginary worries. Such means include, among others,
1) worry time,
2) putting the worry on hold,
3) disputing the worry,
4) ignoring the worry and
5) using imagination to defuse the worry.
Worry time means that you make an agreement with the child about a specific time of the day that will be reserved for thinking about worries. The idea here is that when worries pop up during the day, the children can tell themselves that they will think about those worries later when they have their worry time.
Putting the worry on hold means that children put their worry thoughts temporarily out of their mind. The child may for example give the worries that pop up in their mind at bed time to little dolls (such as Guatemalan worry dolls) that are placed under the child's pillow for the night. In the moring the evening worries are usually gone.
Disputing the worry means that the child learns to challenge dispute the worries by talking back to them, for example, by saying something like "Who cares”, "Boring"” or "Uninteresting".
Ígnoring the worry can mean, for example, that the child writes or draws the worry on a note and then gets rid of the not by throwing it away or flushing it down the toilet.
Using imagination to defuse the worry means that the child uses their imanation to modify their fear fantasy. For example, if the child is afraid that a monster will appear from the dark, they can deliberately imagine that a kind teddy bear or cat will appear from the dark.
With the Worry Buster app therapists and also parents or grandparents can help anxious children to become better aware of their worry thoughts and to find means of calming themselves down, controlling the worries and ultimately, getting rid of them.
The Worry Buster App offers children many examples of worries and a collection of means to help andy get rid of them. When the child has grasped the idea with the help of the examples, you can encourage them to give their own worry to Andy and then help Andy discover a specially crafted helpful thought that will calm Andy down and help him get rid of his worrysome thought.