Wednesday, November 22, 2017

When Worry Takes Hold

I would like to say that worry is not a part of our lives her at Family, Faith and Fridays, but that would not be true.  For years I teased my friends, "Why should I stop worrying?  It's what I do best!"  I have since corrected my ways- mostly!  I also have a daughter that was a worrier for years but after a few years of Biblical counseling classes she fixed her thinking and is free of that burden.

Now I have a 10 year old that is a worrier.  I am not sure if it is an adoption thing or just a personality thing, but none the less, we see it more often than I like.  Things like change, new situations, and sometimes even for seemingly no reason at all, he can make himself sick with worry if we do not watch him closely and intervene.  It is something we are monitoring, trying to teach him coping skills and right thinking.

All that to say, when I recently saw a friend talking about the book When Worry Take Hold, I was intrigued.  Anything we can use to help our kiddo  is great and the fact that it is a book is a bonus!

When Worry Takes Hold, written by Liz Haske, is a 30 page hardback back illustrated by InSong Nam. (You can also get it in paperback, but you know by now I am a sucker for a hardback book!)  The book is about a little girl named Maya that one day allows worry to enter her life.  With each new day and each new situation, her worry grows larger until she feels consumed by it.  Luckily for her, a teacher taught her a coping mechanism called calm breathing, to help her find her courage.

-One of the things that I love about this book is that it addresses that Maya made the choice to replace worry with courage by way of calm breathing.  It wasn't that she never worried again, but that she greeted it and then moved on.  Then she realized that she didn't meet each new thing with "what if", but instead replaced it with right thinking.

"I know you will get us there safely."

-The second thing I love about this book are the illustrations of worry.  It is like a whispy thought cloud seen over Maya's head at the beginning of the book.  You will also notice that the pages in the beginning are darker and more subdued.  As she finds her courage, the worry becomes smaller and lighter and then not visible at all in the pictures, which in turn have also become lighter and brighter.  The mood of the book changes as the mood of Maya and her family changes as well.

-The other thing that struck me was the reaction of the parents on the book.  "Her parents' smiles faded as they began worrying about her Worry."  This was a great conversation starter in our home about how our worry and fear can affect others as well.  I think it is also a good reminder to a child that they are not alone in their worry, and that the key is how we then handle it.

-And another one- the reminder that worry doesn't ever go completely away and that sometimes it is there to keep us safe, but that ..."courage was just a deep breath away."  I cannot think of many people who do not need to hear that at least several times in their lives.

-Finally, at the end of the book is a great how-to page on how to find your courage like Maya that explains in simple terms how to take a calming breath.  We practiced together after reading the book and now I simply remind Colby about it when he is beginning to walk the worry line.

Are our fears and worries gone?  No, of course not.  But I can tell you this book has been a God-send!  It has remained on my living room table for a week now and been read multiple times a day, together, but mostly alone by my son.  I think he has found comfort in the words, acceptance in the fact that he is not alone, and courage through the simple breathing technique. 

Empowering kids to work through their feelings is a must, and I think Liz has done a beautiful job in doing so


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