Depending on the way you look at it, it is either a little ironic or very fitting that I wrote a children's book to help with anxiety.
Ironic in the sense that the process of creating this book has led me to have many, many anxious moments. But also very fitting, because I have first-hand experience of how horrible anxiety makes you feel.
Anxiety is actually a very natural response to doing or experiencing something for the first time. However, if we don't develop healthy ways of coping with our anxious feelings, it can influence our daily functioning in a negative way; or even lead to disempowered thinking.
As an adult, I have enough life experience to know what to do when the worry monsters come after me. But very often children don't know how to deal with their anxious thoughts - and that was why I got the expert advice of play therapist Lenka de Villiers-van Zyl to help!
How our book can help
Before I wrote the story, Lenka and I brainstormed many different ways of helping children with anxiety. We then identified the most helpful ways of dealing with anxiety, and I wove these exercises into the story.
In our book What if worries weren't wild, children are shown how to:
- List their worries and contain them in a safe space
- Find empowerment in their own inner strength, and their abilities to overcome their troubles
- Know whether a worry is real or a false alarm
- Tackle an overwhelming task step by step
- Take comfort from a transitional object to help them through challenging situations
To see exactly how we have approached these exercises, you will have to read the story! But what I can share with you, is that Lenka has tried some of these exercises in her therapy sessions with children, and it has been very successful!
It is my wish that this book will help children with anxiety however big or small their worries are. From learning how to ride a bicycle to visiting the dentist - if Kiki from our book can tame her worries, anyone can!