New Book Little Worm Addresses Complexity of Children’s Emotions

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Author Laura Ann Elpers Pierce helps children learn how to cope with worry.

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At a time when more parents than ever are interested in the topic of emotional intelligence, Dallas therapist Laura Ann Elpers Pierce sheds light on the topic in her debut children’s book, Little Worm: A Story About Worry (Brown Books Kids), with illustrations brought to life by Armando Loredo. Elpers Pierce wrote Little Worm to encourage open dialogue about emotions between children and their caretakers.

In the book, Little Worm has long planned that today was the day he would run a mile in the bright, shining sun. But when he wakes up on the morning he expects to makes his greatest achievement, he looks out the window only to find the sky gray, with rain falling harder every minute. His stomach tied in knots, Little Worm sees that, “his worry was big and he felt quite sick.”
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist, Pierce talks with a wide range of children whose parents consistently report anxiety and worry as areas of concern when describing their child. Her insight into childhood anxiety formed the basis of Little Worm.

“Anxiety can show up when our plan gets altered and there is a change that needs to be made, either about what to do or how to think about a situation. For children, this feeling can be quite overwhelming, interrupting their ability to make decisions or execute a task at hand,” said Pierce.

Luckily, Little Worm remembers that breathing can help him cope with his worry so he can calm down and move past it. After he identifies his emotions and breathes deep, Little Worm is able to change his plans and run victoriously, despite the downpour!

“For some, and for a variety of reasons, it can be difficult to share openly about feelings. Children may relate to Little Worm and find it more comfortable to talk about Little Worm’s worry than their own. Either way, a parent and child are engaging in conversation and modeling the importance of sharing and understanding feelings,” said Pierce.

Parents will enjoy the author’s “Special note” to caregivers in the back of the book, which offers tips and recommendations for helping children in their care cope with feelings of anxiety.
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