An interview with Ella – about worry

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I was contacted by Ella’s mum with a photo of the worry extractor machine she had designed and then made. The light goes on, the blue sails whizz around and it makes a buzzing noise. I think it would be really quite good at mashing up worries and it’s really impressive work for someone in Year 2. It was inspired by the machine found on the worry page of my book, ‘How are you feeling today?’ It felt like an honour for one of my books to have been the inspiration for such a project. So with her mum’s permission, I thought I would find out more about what Ella had to say about the emotion of worry. Here are her delightful answers.

1) If worry was a colour, what colour do you think it would be?

blue and red

2) If it was a sound, what would it sound like?

It is difficult to describe but maybe it is like the sad sound of a violin

3) Can you think of something you have worried about?

  • I thought someone was my friend but actually she turned out not to be my good friend.
  • If my mum found out my lies.
  • I often worry about how and what people think about me.
  • If I can’t pass the ballet exam.

4) What does worry feel like in the body?

shaking, headache, tummy ache, nervous, tired

5) What does worry make your thoughts do?

After I worried about something, I thought it was nothing important and not as serious as I expected.

6) When a worry has been extracted, what feeling are you left with?

After I put word cards into the worry extractor that I want to get rid of, I feel relieved and happy.

7) If you had a friend who was really worrying, what advice would you give them?

I would say, “Now you are worrying a lot but soon you will find out it is not too bad or nothing at all.”

8) In what way do you think being scared like being worried? In what ways are they different?

Being worried sometimes disappears and sometimes stays for a long time but being scared stays much longer until I get over it or it never disappears.

9) Do you think grown ups worry about different things from children?

I think they are not too different. For example, I saw that my mum looked very stressed for her driving test and tests for the visa.  My dad worried about his work.

I worry when my parents, my little sister and my grandmas are unwell. This is like my parents worrying about their parents. My mum worries about my grandmas in South Korea and Wales and she often calls them. She told me worrying about grandmas is good because she loves them and it is a good thing to worry about someone.

10) Do you think worrying is ever good? Can you explain your answer?

Yes , worrying is sometimes good. If we don’t worry about something, we never learn and eventually we will be stronger to fight fears and know how to solve problems for ourselves.

I love Ella’s advice: worrying about something in the future that nearly always turns out to be no big deal.  I have decided Ella is really quite wise.

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If you decide to ask your child these questions, I’d love to hear their answers:

Questions about worry

1) If worry was a colour, what colour do you think it would be?
2) If it was a sound, what would it sound like?
3) Can you think of something you have worried about?
4) What does worry feel like in the body?
5) What does worry make your thoughts do?
6) When a worry has been extracted, what feeling are you left with?
7) If you had a friend who was really worrying, what advice would you give them?
8) In what way do you think being scared like being worried? In what ways are they different?
9) Do you think grown ups worry about different things from children?
10) Do you think worrying is ever good? Can you explain your answer?