Toby is now 4, and with that comes a whole host of emotions which he doesn’t really understand yet. He’s a clever boy, but given that us so-called grown ups so often struggle to comprehend our emotional state, it’s not fair to expect a child to do so effectively! Enter The Irish Fairy Door Company.

Toby was sent the No More Worries Kit and the Interactive Worry Plaque, together giving him (and us) several tools for helping him manage and understand his feelings. The kit contains a mini plaque which Toby can take out and about with him, conversation cards to help us engage with him and talk about feelings, and a feelings journal. Now Toby’s writing skills don’t currently surpass being able to write his own name, but he can tell Phil or me what’s on his mind, then we can write it in the journal for him – an older child could find a lot of comfort in writing their worries and feelings down when they have some quiet time alone.

The idea behind both the plaque and mini plaque is that when your child feels worried, they put their hand or finger on the plaque and a light on it turns red to show that the fairies are listening. When the light goes green, it means that the fairies have taken the worries away!

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Now as grown-ups, we all know that if we could just get some fairies to take away our worries then far fewer of us would be having the levels of stress and mental illness that we are, so at first I was a little cynical about teaching Toby that this is all he has to do. However I love that it’s a way to help him calm down a bit during highly anxious times, enough for us to then talk about what’s wrong. The fairies aren’t a replacement for dealing with his concerns, but they are a tool for reducing his stress levels to a point where he can manage to talk to us.

The journal and conversation cards are a good way to keep up the positive habits of opening up about feelings and emotions, and can be used as and when it feels right – there are no rules and so they can be adapted to suit the age and needs of each child.

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I’d love to hear how you help your children to understand and manage their feelings. Fire over your top tips and strategies in the comments below, or get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.