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Watch Raccoon use his Worrywart Power!

Did you know that I am an EXCELLENT worrier? A Grand Master Worrywart! Once, many years ago, when I could not stop worrying about something, my sister Elaine said, “Irene, let me do the worrying for you and then you can focus on what you need to get done!” I told her I didn’t see how it could work and she said, “Every time you start to worry, just remind yourself that you’ve delegated that job to me so you don’t need to do it!” To my astonishment, it truly helped.

Later, when parents told me that their kids were spending a lot of time worrying, I decided to try the Worrywart Power idea out in a Kidpower workshop. We got little finger monster puppets for each child and told them that this was their Worrywart and they could let it do their worrying for them. We all laughed together as we had our Worrywart Power puppets say, ‘WORRY! WORRY! WORRY! I’m worrying FOR you so you don’t have to!” We heard later that while, of course, this didn’t stop all the worrying, it did help!

Elaine and I still do the worrying for each other – and we also give our worries to trees or rocks or pictures or songs – and, of course, puppets!

So, as a holiday present to all of you, I have asked Raccoon to take on the Worrywart Power job for all of us, so we can focus on what we really need to DO: stay in the moment, take care of ourselves and each other, plan for the future, help others, and enjoy our lives as best we can.


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Published: December 10, 2020   |   Last Updated: December 10, 2020

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.