From school or pre-school anxiety, to problems with friends, fear of the dark or worry about a parent’s divorce, life is full of uncertainties for our little people.
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, children are suffering from anxiety now more than ever.
One in 14 children and young people aged four to 17 in Australia experience an anxiety disorder, according to Children’s Health, Queensland.
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As a parent it can be hard to know what to do, especially if a child won’t talk about their worries – and this is where the Worry Monsters come in.
Recommended by child psychologists and teachers, these plush toys have a zip pocket for a mouth are designed to “eat” your child’s worries.
Children are encouraged to write down or draw what’s upsetting them and then feed the “worry” to the monster.
Overnight, the monster will eat the worry and it will disappear.
Children will often be willing to tell the monster about a worry when they have been unable to voice it to an adult.
And, once it’s written down, it gives the care giver an opportunity to talk about it with the child too.
The worry monsters come in a range of colours on Amazon and have more than 1,000 positive reviews.
“Great little friend,” said one mum.
“Bought this for my daughter when she was having issues at school and didn’t want to talk about it. She happily writes little notes to feed to her monster or sits and has a chat to it.”“Great idea for any child who has some worries or upsets to share.”
“It really works,” said another.
“This simple toy has helped so much, usually at bed time when my daughter starts thinking but she writes all her worries down and in the monster they go.”
Teachers also report the use of the worry monsters in their classrooms to great effect.
“As a teacher, I have had a lot of students with worries the past few years (COVID effect?) and I love bringing this little guy into the classroom,” said one.
“I always combine him with a story about worries and then he lives in our classroom calming area. The kids love him and frequently use him as a tool to help calm down and resolve worries. It’s a good tool.”
And it’s not just kids the worry monsters can help.
“I have an adult acquaintance who is going through a very rough time,” said one worry monster buyer.
“Instead of flowers or a card to cheer her up, I got her this guy… she LOVED it.
“At least she has someone soft and adorable to hold on to when her world is anything but.”
To find out more or to buy a worry monster, head here.
For more information or help with a child or teenager who has anxiety the Kids Helpline is available to call for support anytime, for any reason on 1800 55 1800. There is also a web chat service available 24 hours a day.