(*Loud fanfare please*) BOOK OF THE MONTH!
So I’m thinking back to when I was a child, a young child – what kind of things did I worry about? I worried that Donna Elmes wouldn’t be my ‘best friend’ that day, I worried that my mum would forget to pick me up from nursery or school, I worried that my baby sister was crying too much and looked VERY red, I worried that I would step in dog poo (there was a lot more of it about in those days) …
I hope your worries were similar, things like ‘I haven’t done my homework’ and I haven’t got a dog’, or ‘my friend called me a horrible name’. For some children, though, it may have been a different level of worry. ‘I wish they would stop arguing’, ‘I wish they wouldn’t shout?’ ‘I wish I had a friend’ – or sometimes worse. Children can have so much thrown into their lives. As adults we do our best to protect them don’t we? But can we really give them a care free, worry free life? And should we anyway? Surely, worries ARE OK? We all have worries at some point or other, we just need to teach our children how to deal with them.
This book is great for helping with this. ‘The Huge Bag of Worries’ is a book about a little girl, Jenny, who starts off happy but begins to have a few worries. These worries grow and grow until she ends up carrying them around as a huge ‘bag of worries’. She tries throwing them away but they just keep coming back. In the end an old lady helps Jenny deal with the worries by sorting them out.
This book is close to my heart because it helps to teach children how to share their worries. It teaches them that just talking about them can make some of them easier, and it also teaches them that some worries are just not for the child to deal with – one of my favourite lines describe how the old lady dealt with some of the worries: ‘S Iome she sent packing because she said they belonged to other people’ and ‘Half the worries disappeared because lots of worries just hate the light of day.
We can never fully protect our children from all worries and concerns in life – but if we can give them the skills to deal with them, then hopefully we can make some steps towards them having a healthy mental state as they grow older.
The book is by Virginia Ironside, a well known ‘Agony Aunt’. It’s aimed at slightly older children, 5 years and above. If you’ve read it, I’d love to know what you think!