A Note from the Author
THANK YOU for introducing a child to Little Worm! This book was written to encourage children to identify and express their feelings, specifically worry. When faced with a problem or challenge, worry can often be our body’s first response as we attempt to solve the problem or struggle through the challenging situation. For children, this feeling can be quite overwhelming, interrupting their ability to make decisions or execute a task at hand.
While reading the book, it’s likely children will identify with Little Worm’s feelings and reactions throughout the pages. As a caregiver, you can support children and their emotional development by validating their personal expressions and engaging them in conversations about their own feelings. In general, one simple way to validate a child’s feeling is to genuinely respond to what you see the child experiencing. This can be done by lovingly saying, “You feel really worried right now.” Reading Little Worm is a great place to practice this type of communication with your child. After each page, say out-loud what you notice about Little Worm. It may be, “He did not expect it to be raining!” and “He is having a hard time because he does not know what will happen next.” Each expression of validation communicates to a child that you understand, thus confirming that all feelings are real and accepted.
Often, when a child expresses worry, an adult’s initial reaction is to problem solve so the child is relieved of the difficult feeling. To foster strong emotional health, I challenge you instead to listen and validate the child’s feeling. By validating instead of fixing, you are demonstrating that you recognize their feeling as real, encouraging healthy emotional expression, and allowing an opportunity for the child to learn how to manage the feeling without caregiver intervention.
Although the worry may seem inconvenient or unimportant to you as an adult, the feeling is very much real and significant for the child. By listening and expressing a genuine understanding, you have an opportunity to build upon your relationship and strengthen a child’s ability to manage worry effectively in the future.
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