Imagine Anxiety as a Cartoon Character
An effective and fun way to help your child manage their anxiety is to get them to visualise their anxiety as a funny looking creature or cartoon character.
Get them to describe it to you and even draw or paint it.
Give it a name!
This externalises the feeling and helps the child understand that the anxiety is not actually them but that it is something that they can learn to manage and control.
The child can then talk to, even befriend their anxiety character.
Anxiety is a natural response to threat and therefore it serves a protective function. You can therefore have your child thank their anxiety character for trying to keep them safe and then explain that they are ok and the anxiety character can leave them alone!
For example – if your child names his/her anxiety ‘Knuckles’, have your child speak to Knuckles and to tell Knuckles that they understand that Knuckles is going with them to school to try and keep them safe but that actually Knuckles is getting in the way of them enjoying school. They can thank Knuckles for trying to help them but then tell Knuckles that it would be better if Knuckles went somewhere else or could shrink down to the size of a pea and stay inside their pocket until actually needed!