Make a Worry Mashing Machine


 

This is an an fun way to explore coping strategies for worrying, with your child. The idea is you're going to create a machine that you can put your worries into, so that the machine can help you sort out the worry by reminding you of coping strategies. This is best completed when your child is actually worrying about something so they can really reflect upon which coping strategies help them best, although it can also be a valuable exercise at any time.

Give your child a selection of coping strategies for dealing with worry - written on colourful bits of paper. Add some blank ones. Your child might well have some strategies of their own that they use successfully that they might wish to add (e.g. a soothing blanket, playing with a pet).

Next ask your child to sort through the coping strategies and decide which ones they think would work best for them. Older children might also like to put them in the order they think they would try the strategies in. You could place the strategies in this order in the machine.

Next take their chosen strategies and turn them into a picture of a machine. You could use drawing, collage (a good use of a DIY magazine!) or paint to construct the machine. The important thing is to have fun while thinking about how to mash your worries with this machine. You child will have worked with you to 1) acknowledge worrying happens 2) know that worrying is uncomfortable and something that people need help with 3) have explored different ways of coping with worrying.

Put your picture up on the wall. You could model using it at some point when you have a worry to demonstrate to your child that worrying is perfectly normal and nearly everyone does it!