This post about common childhood worries, featuring GoZen, has been compensated by GoZen. I was also given free access to their website to review the materials in order to give you my opinion. All stories and opinions are my own.
Like many children, my son has common childhood worries that have manifest in ways that concern me. We do our best to ease his worries, but we sometimes need a little extra help. We have found that GoZen can help us and him to understand his worries and do something about it.
For as long as I can remember, I have always had anxiety. As a child, I worried about everything and it manifest through stomach problems, overeating, and biting my fingernails. Now that I have a child, I am beginning to recognize a few problems with Benjamin like clinginess (mostly to me, but sometimes to Howard) and picking his fingernails, as well as gritting his teeth. I asked the dentist about the teeth and she said that was a sign of anxiety.
Outside of medication and therapy, I had no clue how to ease Benjamin’s common childhood worries and I am not ready to go that route. So, when GoZen! contacted me to ask for a review, I was cautiously hopeful and definitely excited to review what they have online.
Here’s the story:
The website is based on the story of an alien, Neutrino, who comes to Earth to visit a town called Fliderdale. Neutrino’s mission is to help ScienceGuy teach kids about Worry. You will meet Nelly Moon, who worries about tests, grades, and everyday worries, Tomas Krishnamurti, who worries about dogs, talking in groups, and meeting new people, and Mr. Diddlydoo, who worries about separation from his cat, George, and worries that something bad will happen to George. These are all common childhood worries so any child with anxiety could potentially be helped by this website.
Here’s how it helps:
Through a series of videos, Key points outlined, and GoPractice, kids can navigate through the website to learn about what is worry and how does it affect your body, what to watch out for with worry, and how to control it for themselves. Let’s start with the Progress Map.
There are six modules that kids can work through as you can see on the Progress Map. After they complete one module, the face lights up as a character from the website. Let’s look at Module 1 a little so you’ll see what I mean and then I’ll leave the other modules up to you to discover!
In Module 1, your child will learn about what worry means. They will see examples from Nelly, Tomas, and Mr. Diddlydoo in a one minute video from each of them.
They will then see Key Points from the video outlines and be asked questions about their own worry.
Your child will also learn about Til and Widdle, the parts of the brain that review your thoughts. These guys are supposed to work together to control worry, but sometimes Widdle gets a little overzealous and makes you worry.
Note: Benjamin was sent a toy Widdle who talks and asks questions to help him control his worry. One of his questions is “What’s one good thing that happened this week. Tell me about it.” He didn’t want his photo taken with Widdle and worried that his friends would see it, so I had to respect his wishes on that.
After you work through a module, you will be given a chance to GoPractice with a little quiz and extra tips. It’s not a test and hopefully won’t create additional anxiety. There is no grade or progress report. It’s just an additional teaching tool. Here are a few screenshots of the GoPractice.
Your little youthling will start to feel better to have a name for their worries and a little background about why they feel the way they do.
Benjamin and I have made it through Module 1 and we have Nelly Moon! He told me that he likes the videos and likes when I talk to him about the Key Points. He feels like this is a game, but he understands that he is learning, too. He’s a little smarty pants so this is sinking in quickly and it’s simple so I know all kids will “get” it on some level.
I wondered where GoZen! got some of their information and what research there was to back up their methods like the 5C’s and FARR method that I saw will come up in later modules. There is a Supporting Research page with all the resources to back up their “claims”. There are also pages for Related Organizations and Anxiety Relief Programs. Additionally, there are two videos for adults titled Three Things to Avoid when your Child is Worried and Take Advantage of the FEEL Method.
I can see this as a great resource for a child with common childhood worries and a great way to bond with your child over their worries. Going through this site has meant Benjamin and I have to spend a lot of time talking and that has really started to ease some of his worries as well.
This program was designed for kids 7-15ish, but the site has seen people from 4-25ish seeking the benefits. The program costs $97 and is well worth the cost of putting your child’s mind at ease. Sign up for two free program lessons today at GoZen.com.