My 6 year old son has extreme anxiety and fear issues. There are certain things we needed to avoid at a very early age such as: animals (mainly dogs), people in costumes, swimming pools (he has now conquered this fear, yippee!), Chuck E. Cheese, loud noises, natural disasters, etc.
I think what most people don’t understand when we suddenly need to leave a venue, such as a play date, is that it’s a HUGE issue. It’s not him telling me, “Mom, I’m scared, let’s go.”
It’s his heart beating out of his chest.
It’s him breaking out in hives.
It’s him shaking from head to toe.
It’s him screaming at the top of his lungs.
It’s him taking literally DAYS to feel better.
We have learned different methods to help him relax and truly believe ,with maturity, it will dramatically improve. Like I said before, the swimming pool is no longer an issue and only certain noises throw him into a melt down of fear these days.
A few days ago, there was a school assembly taking place. His Elementary invited Roofus, the Charlotte Bobcats mascot, to attend and it quickly turned sour. My son spent half the day in the office due to fear and the inability to calm down. When I read the note in his backpack, I felt helpless and tried to figure out ways to ease his fears on this particular day, on this particular issue.
That’s when I remembered the book I received through Parent Reviewers, Sam Feels Better written by Jill Osborne. After bathtime, we opened the book and as I read aloud I could see his eyes widen as he realized he felt just like Sam. I think that was the breakthrough point for us because he has never known or seen a child his age go through bouts of fear.
The most helpful part was the interactive activities included throughout, examples include:
Throughout the book, Ms. Carol, a special therapist, shows Sam how to feel better. Children get the sense that they are helping Sam feel better by drawing pictures, as shown above, playing, and telling stories. They can then identify and manage their own feelings and difficulties in their lives following a traumatic event.
In summary, Sam Feels Better Now can be described as a “Mini-Session” of therapy for your child without leaving the house. In fact, my son asked me before bed, “Mom, can we buy 20 of those books for every time I get scared?” As his Mother, I realized that the activities, the storyline, and the relaxation techniques he learned helped him dramatically and will be a path we return to when the next fearful event unfolds.
If your child battles anxiety, fear issues, or has experienced a traumatic event in his or her life, Sam Feels Better Now! can be extremely helpful in easing their feelings and teaching them how you can overcome them.
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