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There are some universal “magical words” that capture the imagination; use the positive ones often: “Please”, “Thank you”, “Imagine”.
Imagine what it will be like when we get home. Imagine how glad … (pet’s name) will be when he sees you! Won’t that be great.
Use age appropriate stories or maybe slightly younger to keep things simple at first. Start with a familiar and comforting story which can simply distract. You can add to the story by changing it to a similar situation as your child is in.
For example, “did you know that when Goldilocks went into the living room, there in the chairs were the three bears, they all had very worried looks on their faces because baby bear had fallen over and had a swollen ankle and was upset, but mummy bear asked Goldilocks to help. Goldilocks said hello to baby bear, and asked baby bear if she could take some big slow breaths, and each time baby bear should breath in some comfort and blow away some tears, blow away some discomfort and begin to feel better……”
Other creative stories make use of your child’s heroes, pets or favourite things. Using your child’s world means that the story will be more effective and age appropriate automatically.
For example – pretending to be a super-hero overcoming adversity, pretending to be Harry Potter playing Quidditch and using his wand, pretending to be a fairy and using all the magical things that fairies have such as fairy dust and fairy wings. Whatever works for you child. In fact, you can create the story with your child directing the plot, choosing the characters and over-coming adversity.
In the “Mind Calming” section of the website you’ll find some great techniques to easily reduce anxiety and increase calm. Anxiety and discomfort often go hand in hand. Reducing one will help the other.
The techniques we use most often are