How to Incorporate Worry Dolls Into Your Routine
Worry dolls might seem a bit gimmicky but they can actually be a powerful tool for helping children (and adults) deal with stress and anxiety, helping them to let go of worries and drift off to sleep more easily.
With everything going on in the world it’s no surprise that many parents are noticing different behaviour in their children including more worry and anxiety in kids which can manifest itself as changes in behaviour or trouble sleeping. Children might find it hard to articulate their worries but those mysterious night-time tummy aches or tantrums before bed could easily be a result of increased anxiety and stress.
There are many things we can do to help our children build resilience and learn to better manage their emotions and deal with their fears. One simple tool that can be incorporated into their routine is to have worry dolls that they can pass their troubles to at bedtime allowing them to let go of their worries and sleep more soundly.
Introducing Worry Dolls
Introducing worry dolls can be done in a number of ways. You could buy your child some beautiful handcrafted Guatemalan worry dolls as a gift and explain the story behind them and how they are used.
The fact that children have been using worry dolls for thousands of years to help alleviate their troubles can give children faith that it will work for them so. You could tell the story of the princess Lxmecane who was given the gift of wisdom by the sun god and could solve any problem that a person could have, or you can simply explain that handing their worries over to a worry doll at night means that the doll is looking after their worry for them while they sleep so that they don’t have to.
It can be good to have a few worry dolls so that each doll only has to be given one worry at a time. And to let children know that they can use the doll over and over again as many times as they like for as many different worries as they have.
To use the doll it’s important that they say their worries out loud and they could choose the point at which they do this during their bedtime routine. Saying the worries aloud is the best way for them to process and let go of their anxiety so make sure they have time to do this.
Another way to introduce worry dolls is to make them together. This can offer a really nice way to talk about the dolls and the sorts of worries or troubles your child might talk to them about. They can also think about how many worry dolls they might need and you can help by giving them some of the words they might need to articulate their feelings and emotions.
In the morning they can take the worry doll out from under their pillow ready to tell their worries to again the following night. Some children might even like to take a doll with them in their school bag or pocket during the day so they know they can always have someone to talk to their troubles about.
Next Up: How to Help Kids Cope With Worriese