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Lessons for kids from the movie Luca

Lately I noticed my son exhibiting signs of anxiety – imagining the worst possible outcome and crying about it.  I tried to solve this problem as any mom would solve it. Of course, first I googled about it. I did not get any useful tips (except that he might learn that from the parents). Of course I knew that. Next I bought a book called “Anxious Parents, Anxious Kids.”

I felt the book was useful, in that it tries to externalize worry and make it separate from the child.  A couple of days before Sid and I watched the movie “Luca”. In that Alberto talks to Luca (who is supposedly more anxious). He externalizes Luca’s worry and says Bruno is talking in his head.

I decided to try this tactic with a dentist visit. Dentist appointments are never fun for kids. When he started saying he didnt want to visit the dentist. I said “Bruno, stop scaring Sid about the dentist appointment.” Immediately he said “Bruno is not real, mom.” But in any case, it distracted him from the actual dentist visit and he listened to instructions and did surprisingly well. At the end of the appointment I pointed out to him, see you stopped listening to Bruno and see how well you did. He got it.

From then on whenever he would get anxious or fearful, I would say it is Bruno talking. Bruno, stop scaring Sid. Now he started laughing whenever I said that.

Yesterday he wanted to draw all the Brunos that were stuck in his head . He drew one for every scenario. “This is the Bruno that makes me run in the hallway. ” This is the Bruno that makes me forget to flush the toilet” and so on.

I think in the end it was a cathartic experience resulting in a very happy child.

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