Fear Busting Ollie Style
The stay at home message for lock down brought in a new sense of security for some children, the message was clear and staying at home with Mum & Dad was a new novelty with many enjoying extra bonding with parents and siblings.
Now that we are emerging from the comparative safety of lock-down into the so called ‘new normal’, some children and lets face it, adults too are finding it all very confusing. Grand Parents can visit but can they hug them or not? They see some people ignoring the social distancing rules and this could leave children bewildered, insecure and anxious. The future they thought was going to happen has suddenly changed and this uncertainty can trigger anxieties and fears that they were already struggling with.
Many children don’t understand what they are feeling when they are anxious. Some find it difficult to verbalise what they are feeling but they may be able to express their feelings in painting or drawing.
In the Alison Knowles’s books of Ollie and his Super Powers, Ollie learns that whatever he is feeling at a given time, takes the form of a super power that he can talk to and make bigger or smaller. He learns to use his ‘superpowers’ to help him in everyday situations whenever he felt anxious or scared.
As a parent or care provider, our natural reaction when we see an anxious child is to help and protect them and not to push them or encourage them to do the things that they are afraid of. We can respect the child’s fear, but that does not mean giving into the fear. If we let the child avoid or not do certain things that they are afraid of then it is teaching the child that there is reason to be anxious or afraid. Otherwise, we are sending a message that they do not have to do anything that is difficult or scary throughout their lives.
In the book Ollie and his Superpowers, Ollie is told that he has a big library in his head and that a librarian looks after all of his memories. The memories are stored in white boxes marked ‘good things’ and black boxes marked ‘bad things’ he also had a box marked ‘interesting things’. Ollie was very nervous about the things stored in the black boxes.
In ‘Ollie and his Golden Stripe’ Ollie is encouraged to take the lid off a black box marked 'Giant Long Haired Cows with Horns’. This made Ollie feel very nervous and scared. The superpowers representing these feelings popped out and made Ollie shake. He did not want to open this black box! Mr Wilcox (a grandpa friend who can see Ollie’s superpowers) pointed out that the date on the box meant that the memory was created when Ollie was only 3 years old. Ollie admitted that he was still afraid of the cows even though he was 8 years old! Mr Wilcox took Ollie’s hand and they both looked into the box. Inside the box Ollie was in a pushchair near a fence and a calf with long red hair nuzzled the fence and licked little Ollie’s face. Suddenly a giant cow with long red hair and horns poked its head through the fence and sniffed at little Ollie. It was so huge little Ollie began to scream. 8 year old Ollie realised that this was the calf’s Mummy and she was just saying hello. Would you be frightened if that happened to you now that you are bigger? asked Mr Wilcox. Ollie laughed and said because he was so small he thought the cow was going to eat him but now I know that cows don’t eat children and she was only being friendly!
Throughout the Ollie books, Ollie is encouraged to open more black boxes to face things he doesn’t like and he has to call upon his bravery and courage superpowers to help him face his fears.
Its important that children understand that things are going to be difficult in life. Its okay for them to feel scared but they should face it anyway. Lets find our Bravery and Courage Superpowers and face all those future uncertainties together!
Hilary Crundwell, Ollie Coach
Hilary has been an Ollie Coach since 2017. As a qualified Cognitive Hypnotherapist and NLP Master practitioner, she generally specialises in Trauma and PTSD in her practice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. She finds it incredibly rewarding when she is able to relieve symptoms of PTSD or trauma that a sufferer has had to put up with for many years. When she met Alison Knowles (author of Ollie and his Superpower books) she was bowled over by the simplistic yet effective method of Ollie coaching and the superpowers concept. In keeping things simple and fun she enjoys getting the children to work with her to find their own solutions to any problems they might have. Hilary loves the way children have such great imaginations and how this can be used to help them build resilience and overcome anxieties.
To get in contact with Hilary, email Hilary.firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Ollie and his Super Powers and how to become an Ollie Coach go to https://www.ollieandhissuperpowers.com/pages/about-us