I don’t remember when I first heard or came into contact with Worry Dolls, or Trouble Dolls, but the whole concept delights me. Originally from Guatemala, they’re made for children and come in boxes or bags of six. According to folklore, a child can express his worries to a doll and place it under his pillow before going to sleep at night. The doll is thought to worry in the child’s place, thereby permitting him to sleep peacefully. The child is given one worry doll each night and instructed to tell one trouble or fear to the doll. The next morning when the child wakes up, the worry doll is gone from the bed (I’ve got to remember to do this part!), taking that worry with it. To introduce Corban to this whole concept, I read him Trouble Dolls, a wonderful book for children by Jimmy Buffett.
We know, of course, that there’s no magical element involved here, and that this is comparable to many of the myths we have for kids. I believe intention, faith and belief play an important role in a child’s ability to deal with anxiety. And it seems, from a psychological standpoint, using Worry Dolls is quite sound; in point of fact, some hospitals use them with children to relieve anxiety. I thought this would be a good-sense way to help Corban voice his worries and fears and to promote better sleep. We’re on the second night here; two dolls down, four to go. Pleasant dreams, Corban.