How to Deal With the Worries of Kids Who Have a Parent with TBI

Psychologists have effective strategies like the "Worry Worm Box" to help young children deal with their anxieties about their injured parent.

See more videos with Dr. Daisley.

We have lots of ways of dealing with worries and thoughts. So, for example, we might make a box in a therapy session, and there's a lot of time spent decorating this box with a little hole in the top, and then we then say, "Let's imagine that the worry worm lives inside this box, and we can't see him--he's invisible--but he lives in this box now." And we give kids little pieces of paper that fit this box perfectly, and they can write down worrying thoughts and each night they can pop them in the box, and the worry worm can eat them up. And what we usually ask the other parent is to perhaps, if they can, is to check the worry box. Just take the papers out. Because--and you know, it really only works with much younger children who really obviously believes that the worry worm is there. But to take those papers out and have a look at them before they throw them away because the parent needs to be addressing these issues when we are off the scene. Anything that you can do to check out with kids how they're feeling without children feeling as if they are being sort of questioned and examined, and really the message is that it's okay to talk. It's okay to share ideas.
Posted on BrainLine December 18, 2012.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Justin Rhodes, and Erica Queen, BrainLine.