Friday, January 22, 2016

Helping Kids that Worry Brain Plate Tool

Why Smart Kids Worry by Allison Edwards (2013) is a terrific resource for parents who have children with anxiety concerns. She offers parents (and many could be used at school too) 15 practical easy to implement tools. Many of the tools are ones I have used for years like Tool #1 Square Breathing which I teach in my small groups. One that was new to me is Tool #12 Brain Plate.  Edwards says Brain Plate is a way to organize what kids think about so they worry about only one day at a time. Step 1 have the child draw a weeks worth of food on a single paper plate. When the plate is full ask what would happen if the parent made them eat all the food pictured at one time. The child will say I'd get sick. Then compare not being able to handle all the food at once to not being able to hold a week's worth of worries in their mind. When they do it causes stress. On a separate plate the child divides their day into sections, such as: school, home, friends, and activities. This helps bring mindfulness to today so they don't worry about future events. A daily plate could be filled out for 2 weeks until the child is successful on focusing on one day at a time.

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