Feelings of worry and fear don’t discriminate. From time to time, everyone experiences worry or fear – regardless of age or gender. For some people however, these experiences are persistent and more severe, leading to an often debilitating affect on their everyday life.
When the people affected by these feelings are children, many parents and adults can feel confused or unaware of how to offer support and soothing; particularly when they aren’t always around the child in situations when they are experiencing these anxious feelings. This might be when they are at school for instance.
One creative former primary school teacher from Melbourne, Linda, decided to do her part trying to do something about it. Drawing from her own personal challenges with anxiety, she designed the little wuppy® for kids – a soothing aid which combines Limda’s love of drawing with her little obsession with sausage dogs.
Meet 'Little Wuppy
The little wuppy® is a cuddle toy in the form of an adorable sausage dog. Kids can ‘adopt’ their own little wuppy (starting from as little as AU$30.95) and use it for calming an otherwise anxious situation. It can be used by children who are worriers, who suffer from anxiety, who have been diagnosed with ASD (as ASD can trigger anxiety), Sensory Processing Disorder, or any child that needs a little extra comfort in their daily lives.
If a child places its heart against their own, they can send their worries to the little wuppy® so they don’t need to worry any more.
Children are encouraged to talk to the little wuppy®, and tt is small enough to hold in their hand, carry it in their pocket, pop it in their bag, or use in a way which brings them comfort. It is backed with soft minky fabric which is perfect for cuddling, but can also be used as a tool for tactile children who use textured surfaces to help calm and soothe them.
The extra special feature of the little wuppy® however is its heart – if a child places its heart against their own, they can send their worries to the little wuppy® so they don’t need to worry any more.
How Little Wuppy can help kids with anxiety
Children may find the little wuppy® useful:
- when they are feeling scared or worried
- when they are unsure or apprehensive about change, e.g. the start of a school year, moving to a new home, welcoming a new sibling into the family
- when transitioning to kinder, prep or a new school
- as a comfort when they are experiencing illness or death of a loved one/pet
- as a comfort if they are in hospital, for siblings/family members separated due to hospital stays, or for comfort during medical appointments, scans or tests
- before exams/concerts/sporting events to help calm and focus them
- at night time if bad dreams occur, if they wake at night, or find it hard to fall asleep
- to provide a little extra comfort; have a companion so they don’t feel alone
- as a tactile tool (some children find it helpful to touch different textures to help calm and soothe them in stressful times).
Within the classroom, there are also many ways the little wuppy® can help.
- It can be used as a class pet, so that if children ever need to spend some quiet time to relax or calm themselves, the little wuppy® can help.
- It can also be popped on a child’s table, so they can have a visual reminder that they have something close by to comfort them if needed.
- It can be placed in a school bag so children know there is something there they can go to if they need comfort.
- They can hold it (or pop it in their pocket) during the times at school that bring on anxiety, e.g. during tests, performances, public speaking.
- They can have it in their hands while they are listening or trying to focus (and use the textured surfaces to help them stay calm and focussed).
- They can be ‘charged with mummy love’ so that the child knows when they hold the little wuppy®, their mum’s love will help them when they are anxious.
Please Note: The little wuppy® is an aid ONLY and is recommended for children aged 3+ years ONLY.
Since launching little wuppy®, Linda (Owner and Designer) has written and featured in a number of blogs, and has collaborated with mental health experts and educators within Australia; working to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues, especially in regards to children.
Eleni Fegan is the founder and Managing Editor of DearBub Blog and Magazine which began from a personal journey of research and healing. Her motivation for DearBub is beautifully summarised in her Editor’s Letter: “I realised that there is beauty to giving voice to our experiences, and raising an awareness that we are not alone in them. I realised the immense power that ‘sharing’ had in transforming our sense of self and being through creating connection”.