Updated: Oct 21
This is one of my favourite books about emotions. And it came into our family's life at just the right time. We'd been going through some difficult family moments, and my youngest child needed some support in handling her fears and anxiety. Will this book help you support a child with anxiety? Yes, because it's all about acknowledging our worries, not ignoring them.
The Huge Bag of Worries, by Virginia Ironside, is a beautiful picture book about Jenny, a young girl with a big blue bag of worries, which follows her around. She worries about things like whether her pet has fleas, as well as about bombs and war. The worries starts off quite small, but the bag keeps getting bigger, following her around, and stopping her from getting on with life.
Jenny asks various people for ideas on how to handle her worries, including her brother and her best friend. But their ideas don't work, and she feels too silly to ask the other adults in her life for help, until finally her worries get so big that she sits down in the street and bursts into tears. Her kindly next door neighbour spots her, and starts to help.
she brings the worries out of the open, and that makes them seem smaller already
she sorts them into groups - and helps Jenny work out which ones are hers and which ones belong to others.
As a Positive Parenting coach I love this book because it helps us deal with our worries - not by brushing them away, pretending they don't exist, but by actually taking the time to deal with them, and acknowledge them. The 'sorting' moment reminded me of one of my other favourites, the Colour Monster by Anna Llenas. By understanding our worries and where they come from, we can make them more manageable. A great way to help young children look at their fears and worries, and a way for adults to support children in managing their feelings.
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As a parent, maybe you've got questions on how to help your child to manage their emotions. I work with families on anxiety, self-confidence and big feelings. So do get in touch - we can talk through the different packages I propose in my online coaching sessions. The call is free, and no-pressure.
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