Opening up conversations between parents and children

Worry monster tool for children aged 5-11

Worry monsters, worry journals or a worry jar are great tools to use with children. A worry monster, usually a soft toy, is used to help children with their fears. Parents can sit with their child and talk about what worries them, then write it down and feed it to the monster. 

Worry journals can be used for writing down fears, worries, and positives, too. They contain activities for parents and children to do together. For some children, it is easy to write or draw a picture to share what worries them. The ‘worry jar’ can contain the worry and keep it away from a child.

It’s important for parents to tell their child who they can turn to should they feel unsafe. Making positive associations about the police, teachers and other professionals is also important. If a child feels unsafe they should feel able to ‘tell’.

Using age-specific books such as My Body Belongs to Me (3-10 years) or The Huge Bag of Worries (5-10 years) is also a good way of opening up conversations about body safety and empowerment.

Singing along with ‘Pantosaurus’

The Pantosaurus resources, including a song with simple lyrics that parents and children can sing along with and a resources pack, provide ample opportunity for conversations and provide support for parents, too. 

Parents can start by telling their child they are going to learn with Pantosaurus. They can then play the song, dance, and then talk about what the song is about. They could also read the posters to their child and put them up as a reminder.

Visit the NSPCC website for the range of Pantosaurus materials parents can use.

Conversation starters

We’ve also produced conversation starter advice you can share with parents. The advice has been developed for children in different age groups. Please click on the age group you’d like to receive advice on.

Children aged 0-4


Children aged 5-11


Children aged 12-16


Children aged 16+


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