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'Worry Monsters'

(16 Posts)
SkaPunkPrincess Wed 22-Nov-17 21:16:27

DH has purchased and given D'S 4.5 a 'Worry monster'.
For those not familiar the concept is like worry dolls except you write down/draw your worry and shove it into the monster's mouth and the monster eats your worries.
I am concerned that this will create an environment where by DS no longer talks to us about what worries him and keeps these things to himself.
We do seem to have a bit of an anxious child but not overly so and we had some trouble with hitting and pushing involving two other children back at the beginning of September in school and i don't want him keeping these things to himself.
DH has told D'S he doesn't have to tell us his worries if he doesn't want to.
AIBU to be uncomfortable with this?

ApocalypseNowt Wed 22-Nov-17 21:20:32

The doll I wouldn't have a problem with as I think it can be a good thing. You know when you write stuff down or just tell someone about a worry often seems to make it better?

However i don't think telling your DS he doesn't have to tell you his worries is brilliant. Maybe phrase it more like "you can always talk to us" "you can tell us when you're ready" "you can always speak to auntie doo-dah if you want to speak to someone else". That might be better?

Anything to avoid bottling stuff up really!

DollyPartonsBeard Wed 22-Nov-17 21:21:22

I thought the point of these was that the parents remove the notes overnight so that a) they can read them (and maybe act on them as appropriate/ necessary) and b) the child thinks they've been 'eaten'.

Sirzy Wed 22-Nov-17 21:22:54

If he isn’t going to talk writing it down or drawing it is the next best way for you to get an idea what is going on.

I think making it clear you are always there to listen is important but I also agree with not pressuring them to talk.

Mamabear14 Wed 22-Nov-17 21:24:11

Our DS has one. He is 11 and has severe asd and adhd so it's probably very different but he does have severe anxiety. It worked briefly, but something huge was going on at school and he didn't tell even the worry monster.
He knows he can come to us with anything, but that if he doesn't want to talk then he can tell the monster. And the monster will tell the right people to help him. And obviously don't forget to check the monsters mouth!

mustbemad17 Wed 22-Nov-17 21:24:57

I have one of these for my DD when she gets older. I think it's a brilliant idea. The idea is that you remove the 'worry' from the monster overnight & deal with it accordingly; whether that be via letter returned in the monster or by telling DC the monster mentioned x y or z.

I've seen it work really effectively with friends' DC's so am really chuffed we have one

SkaPunkPrincess Wed 22-Nov-17 21:27:21

Dolly that would be ok if he could write words 😊 it's just scribbles on paper at the moment.

GerdaLovesLili Wed 22-Nov-17 21:28:08

Ours is invaluable... she tells me all sorts of things that I can try to make better. One of the better things we've bought on recently.

It does help if your child has readable handwriting or is a good drawer, but I would still recommend one even with limited writing/drawing as they are an excellent conversation starter.

HerRoyalFattyness Wed 22-Nov-17 21:31:53

I think one of these would be perfect for my DD when she can write.
She has selective mutism, so telling her she has to talk is completely the wrong thing to do. We have to tell her it's ok if her voice doesn't work. So this would be fab for when her voice isn't working with teachers etc.
As it is she is able to tell me, but something massive has been happening at preschool (and I mean they are talking of expelling a 3 year old kind of massive) and she is struggling to tell me. You can hear the effort it takes to get things out.
So yeah. I think they're a good idea.
I just wish there was more I could do to help my DD now.

I also agree that you shouldn't put pressure on kids to talk to you. Tell them you're always available when they're ready to talk, but don't say they must talk to you.

mustbemad17 Wed 22-Nov-17 21:36:02

HerRoyal not sure if it would help but worth a try...there is a handprint wall plaque that you can buy for worries. It reacts to heat & so changes colour when the child puts their hand on it. I've seen it used as a sort of pre-cursor to help children relax enough to be able to get a few details out. Will have to find the link. Obviously depends on the children, but sometimes things like that can take away some of the fear attached with worry.

mustbemad17 Wed 22-Nov-17 21:38:02

www.argos.co.uk/product/6819295

It's called a Fairy Worry Plaque. The pre-school used to create an elaborate story about a Fairy who left it for them, to help them when they were scared etc. Worked for some of our kids 🙂

Honeybee79 Wed 22-Nov-17 21:38:24

My DS has one and we have found it really helpful. He writes his worries, puts them in the monster, we pull them out and chat with DS about them, they then go back into the monster and get 'eaten" (ie binned) overnight.

HerRoyalFattyness Wed 22-Nov-17 22:12:39

must Thanks, that could be worth a shot.

SpottedOnMN Wed 22-Nov-17 22:35:24

Based on the book our GP recommended to my child this week, I don't think it's a bad idea: www.amazon.co.uk/What-When-Worry-Much-What/dp/1591473144/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&tag=mumsnetforum-21&*entries*=0&*Version*=1

SkaPunkPrincess Thu 23-Nov-17 06:27:13

I don't think the concept is a bad idea, I had worry dolls as a child.
My main issue is he cannot read or write yet and so I cannot use it as some of you describe and DH has told him he doesn't need to tell us if he doesn't want to.
I couldn't talk to my parents they didn't want to know hense the providing of worry dolls.
I'm not sure if this is colouring my view. I want DS to be able to come to us whenever he is in trouble or worried or upset and I feel this is creating a blocker to that.
We talked about it briefly then DH just went and bought one and launched its use without any further discussion about how we were going to approach it. (I was at work)

PosiePootlePerkins Thu 23-Nov-17 06:35:14

Spotted we have that book and it was really helpful when Ds was having anxiety problems. We were recommended a worry box, you put your worries inside in the morning, then you have a 'worry time' each evening where you take time to go through each worry together. This is the only time yo can discuss the worries, but it is important to go back to them. Often, the things Ds was worrying about in the morning (I might feel ill at school, the work might be too hard etc) had gone by the evening and so we could have a really positive discussion about how our worries are often not that bad when we face them.

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