Scheduling Worry Time – Weds 23rd Sept 2015

By | September 23, 2015

Eh? You might think.  Don’t we as parents/carers have ENOUGH to worry about? It’s non-stop at times isn’t it.

Nope, what I’m talking about is scheduling worry time for our worriers, those anxiety-ridden children/adults who can wrap themselves over and over in knots about (what may seem) a slight thing, but to them it’s pretty mega.

I’m attending weekly workshops on understanding anxiety within ASD and this was one of the suggestions today, I’m aiming to implement this, but in two different ways with my two very different children.

For D, it’s extremely obvious when she’s worried or not had a good day, there’s no eye contact at all from the moment she sees me and then, we have a bolt situation as soon as she’s downstairs.  It only seems to be after she’s bolted and/or squeezed it “out” on my arm, then she might feel ready to start to tell me.  Sometimes it can take a long time, we’re talking hours, days or even longer, which is why scheduling time sounds good.

Much like we have our “best, worst and funniest bits of the week”, it could be a round-robin with us taking it in turns to talk about what’s worrying us.  Scheduled, at a specific time and then we move on, hopefully.

I did think that D would then get anxious that she might not remember all her worries, so the additional suggestion that she (or I) wrote them down might help.  It might also be for D that, once she’s seen her worries written down, in her mind they might then be dealt with and they’re no longer such a worry.

Sometimes her worries concern T, so having advance notice of them might not be a bad idea! 

With T, he has worries (oh yes, indeedy), but he offloads them regularly – sometimes as soon as he gets off the school coach and then they get repeated …. and repeated … and repeated.  Where a “worry time” might benefit him is if we also used a sand timer and said he had, say, 5 minutes to chat about one particular bugbear (usually a teacher) and then he has to move on to the next – if there is one.

This would hopefully work for T because of the very visual time element, obviously if it was a “worry” that needed action then we wouldn’t obliterate it, there has to be flexibility.  It might ease the almost OCD element of the particular “worries” he has at times.

There was also the suggestion of worry bags today, where a worry is written down and put in a bag but I prefer the idea of scheduling time, it may encourage conversation, it may not, but with my two zooming into pre-teens and puberty, anything that encourages conversation and (hopefully) keeps those anxieties a little bit at bay can only be a positive step forward.

Keep you posted!


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