My oldest son is a bit of a worrywart, something he probably inherited from me. He worries about lots of things-school, bugs, storms, my driving. A little fear is good-it’s part of our survival instincts. But too much worry, I feel, is robbing him of a carefree childhood.
I have tried lots of things to help, all with little success. But, recently, we have found something that seems to be not only helping my son, but the whole family as well.
At the suggestion of a friend, we have started a positive self-talk journal. We bought a small spiral pad at the dollar store and wrote down my son’s fears as headings on a few of the pages. We then brainstormed positive phrases he could say to himself when he was feeling scared. This part took some help from me at first. We wrote, “I am not a flower, I am 10,000 times bigger than a bee, and The bee is not interested in me, ”
Once we got going, he came up with a few on his own–I am brave, I can do this.
The hope is that after awhile, these thoughts will come naturally to him. We keep the journal close by so we can refer to it when needed.
The effect it has had on my son has been really noticeable. In fact, we have moved onto post-it notes that now have messages of general good will and positiveness.
We have found these notes to be really helpful with the start of the school year, too. This can be really nerve wracking for some kids. There are changes in the routine, new classrooms and teachers, possibly even a brand new school.
Both my boys started a new school this year and these notes have served us well to help quell the jitters of the first days–and hopefully first weeks of school. Everyone in the family has been enjoying the positive self-talk. Give it a try and let me know what happens!