If you're anything like me, you're currently going through a period of adjustment
with your kid. For my little one, it's the looming uncertainty of school next year
- for yours it could be Kinder, day care, or even moving into a big bed.
Whatever their worry, there is a simply and practical solution to help ease it,
with the use of a "Worry Puppy" or, Wuppy.
I'm pretty excited to get one of these for Z this Christmas, knowing that no matter what she faces next year, she will always have a companion.
Read on to find out more (and read to the end for a sneaky deal!)
Tell us a bit about yourself...
Hello, hello! I’m Linda, the owner and designer of Little Wuppy®.
I am a 35 year old curly-haired former primary school teacher, who lives west of Melbourne with her very patient husband and two doggies (a sausage dog and a lab).
I am a little bit quirky (okay, who am I kidding, a LOT quirky).
I am extremely honest.
I thoroughly enjoy helping kids (and acting like one, too).
I am a strong believer in loving what you do and loving who you are.
I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I am a follow-the-rules kind of girl.
And I am a perfectionist.
I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.
Where did the idea to start Little Wuppy® come from?
In 2010, I resigned from primary school teaching due to my severe anxiety and panic attacks. I no longer felt comfortable standing in front of a class knowing that at any moment, I could have a panic attack. It was a very hard decision to make, but a necessary one.
I was housebound for a good part of a year, living in fear of my panic attacks. It was one of the darkest times in my life, but one that also lead me to where I am now.
I decided I wanted to use my own experience with anxiety to help others, especially children. In the six years I was in the classroom, I worked with so many children who found school, home and new situations quite overwhelming and challenging. I spoke with a number of parents whose children suffered anxiety on a daily basis, and it was so heart wrenching learning that these children were experiencing such big feelings and emotions.
I created a prototype of a worry dog and sent it to a couple of friends who had children who were particularly anxious. I received such positive feedback that I decided to dedicate my time to developing a thoughtful product; one that would help children manage the overwhelming thoughts and feelings associated with anxiety, and also provide them comfort.
How do you use them?
The Little Wuppy® is a sausage dog worry puppy, designed as an aid to help ease children’s worries and to help comfort them.
Children are encouraged to send their worries to the Little Wuppy® by placing its heart against their own so they don’t need to worry anymore.
The heart is embroidered so it’s quick and easy for little fingers to find.
The Little Wuppy® is also backed with soft minky fabric. It’s a great tool for children who use textured surfaces as tactile comfort.
There is also a satin-feel tag on the Little Wuppy® for kids to run their fingers through.
The Little Wuppy® is small enough to hold in one hand, pop into a pocket, slide into a pencil case or bag, or tuck under a pillow (for night time comfort and cuddles).
For those children who practise breathing exercises, it’s also a great tool to sit atop of their tummy, so they can see their breathing through the movement of the Little Wuppy®.
There is also a Little Wuppy worry catcher, and a worry catcher key ring, that can be used in addition to the Little Wuppy® worry puppy. The heart of the worry catcher ‘catches’ all the worries for the children.
(Please note: all Little Wuppy® products are designed and recommended for children aged 3+ only to tween age).
What has the feedback been like?
The feedback from parents, carers, teachers and children about the Little Wuppy® has been so heart-warming. It has validated my decision to develop this aid, and makes me love what I do more and more. Hearing how children have used the Little Wuppy® to help ease their worries is so humbling for me; to know my experience with anxiety is helping others is really quite overwhelming (in a good way).
Children have used the Little Wuppy® to help them:
- alleviate separation anxiety associated with school drop off
- feel more confident at school and in the classroom
- focus more during class
- sleep more peacefully, and sleep through the night
- feel comforted in times of need, e.g. during hospital stays, doctors’ visits, bereavement periods, change of school/living arrangements
- manage the overwhelming thoughts and feelings associated with anxiety
What does the future hold for Little Wuppy®?
I am extremely passionate about helping to break down the ugly stigma associated with mental health issues, especially in regards to anxiety and children. I want to continue sharing my experiences with others, and providing helpful tools and resources for children and their families.
I’d love for people to think of Little Wuppy® when their child, or a child of someone they know, is feeling a bit anxious or overwhelmed.
My aim is to get Little Wuppy® into the hands of those children who need it most – Little Wuppy® may be small, but it can make a huge difference to the wellbeing of a little worrier.
To find out more about Little Wuppy, including tricks and tips for dealing with anxiety,
follow Linda on INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // WEBSITE
Our readers also get 10% off storewide, with the code SM10