Interact with your children to help overcome their anxiety – Author

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SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – Parents who want to help their children deal with anxiety when they have to speak in front of an audience, may pick a few tips from Irish author, Liam Kelly.

In his book, The Wonderful World of Worried William, Kelly said every single child has a unique story to tell, and parents need to help them with words.


“Parents and adults need to open up to them. If parents don’t talk about their thoughts or feelings, children won’t either,” he said when speaking on “The World of Anxiety” at Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2022) Cultural Programme event.

Kelly pointed out that even if children do not communicate their thoughts and fears, their eyes never lie.

The UAE-based teacher confided he had so much anxiety that he couldn’t cope and got very low scores because he was always worrying too much.

Kelly, who published his first book at the age of 37 referred in particular to an incident in school when his teacher called him over to the blackboard and asked him to pronounce the word “look”, and he stammered.

The author cum master doodler exhorted all to make use of the many apps available “to write your own story” as it was “okay to tell stories through different characters”.

At the programme he also gave lessons from his personal experiences in childhood to overcome diffidence and develop the vocabulary to write a book.

Meanwhile at another session, Egypt’s comedian and voice-over actor, Mohamed Henedy said childhood years require special care, where freedom plays a crucial role in building children’s personalities and providing a sound environment that ensures a healthy upbringing.

“I respect the younger generation and view them as an indicator of my comedic work’s success, even if the content is directed at adults,” he said in a session titled ‘Super Henedy’ moderated by author and poet Sheikha Al Mutairi.

Mohamed Henedy also shared, that his body of work, starting from Disney movies voice-over to making his own films and series, is designed to advance children’s knowledge and skills.

He said that his art conveys important messages on values and morals in a fun way.

Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), SCRF, themed ‘Create Creativity’, features educational and entertainment activities as well as intellectual and cultural seminars.

This year, the festival offers more than 1,900 activities, including 1,140 activities for children, 120 cultural activities and 130 artistic performances and theatre productions.