Worry Eaters Consume Fears And Anxieties Eating At Children

Fears, worries, and nagging thoughts are normal and tend to sneak up on us at night as we try to get to sleep. As adults, we tend to know how to manage those stressful thoughts. Anxiety is also a normal part of childhood, but children can have a harder time than adults when it comes to putting things into perspective or words. Their worries seem big and scary and linger like the mythological monster under their bed. Gerd Hahn’s Worry Eaters are plush dolls that happily carry worries that consume children.

After an awful night of sleep worrying about work, German inventor Gerh Hahn wished a monster would come and eat up all of his worries. So he made one. Saggo, the first Sorgenfresser—German for worry eater—was born. Hahn knew children had the same problem as adults who toss and turn from troublesome thoughts, so he designed Saggo to be soft and cuddly enough to take to bed, yet fierce enough to be reckoned with. And Saggo was designed with a zipper mouth.

The idea behind the Worry Eater is to have your child, intended for ages three and up, draw or write down the thing that is bothering or scaring them. The zipper is important because the child can then place the piece of paper into the doll’s mouth and zip it shut, taking the fear away and locking it up tight.

Fear of the dark, anxiety about a doctor’s appointment, or stress about an upcoming event at school can be slipped into the Worry Eater’s mouth, which is happy to carry burdens so your child doesn’t have to. Having your child write down their fears may also help you or a teacher understand why they may be struggling. And it may help you decide if you need to seek additional help for your child’s anxiety.

Just like adults, children can have anxiety disorders too. In fact, they affect one in eight children according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. If your child’s worrying seems out of control or overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask your pediatrician for guidance on this topic. A Worry Eater may help a child with an anxiety disorder, but a professional caregiver is what your child needs.

Germany and Europe were introduced to the Sorgenfresser dolls last year and they will now be sold in the United States by The Haywire Group. Two sizes, roughly 15 inches and 10 inches, and eight different personalities are ready to fill their bellies with everyday worries. Saggo, Enno, Schnulli, Flamm, Flint, Polli, and twins Bill and Betti are seriously cute with a bit of grit.

And Worry Eaters know no age; if you need something to eat your worries, give it a try. From to-do lists and stresses to goals and dreams, I have always found clarity when writing down the thoughts in my head. Your child will likely benefit too. Let Saggo or Flint consume the worries so they don’t eat at your child.