I was not planning on talking about fear this week as part of our "Feelings" unit, but since Big Sister has been freaking out because of the lovebugs that are everywhere right now, it was something that needed to be done anyway. In school they talked about happy and sad, which are great beginning feelings to discuss. Be careful, though, that your children don't just learn the "-ad" feelings: glad, mad, sad. There are so many other feelings that can better explain what your child is feeling. Frustrated. Disappointed. Excited. Nervous. Content.
Here's what she brought home:
I love the "sad" comment. It was perfectly fitting since that morning she was not allowed to buckle her toy into her seatbelt with her (since that would not be safe). So she was sad that we were keeping her safe. I'm ok with that! And as a mom, who doesn't want to hear that playing with your kid makes them happy! Yea!
Ok, now, onto a timely discussion about fear and bugs. We discussed that not all bugs are bad and reminded her that she loves butterflies, ladybugs and caterpillars. To which she replies "oh yeah." But mosquitoes and bees and lovebugs are "bad" bugs to her.
(there are some lovebugs on the screen in the pic. you just can't see them!)
Not quite lovebugs but I thought that they would look creepy with the little legs that lovebugs really have.
Why a lovebug snack? Well, it gave us a chance to talk about them in a positive light while they were not flying around our heads and landing on our arms and faces! Also, I thought some desensitization was in order. I don't have much psychological training (that's my husbands area!), but I know that if we can talk about things that are scary, touch them when they are not real and then eat them when they taste this good, it would only help our situation. And it has helped.
I wanted her to earn the chance to make the edible lovebugs again the next night so the "rule" was that she couldn't freak out (scream, cry, run around like crazy, etc...) at school the next day. And it worked! The teacher said that she did fine with the lovebugs at school that next day. Let me tell you, after dinner she was ready to make and eat some more oreo lovebugs!
The next day I wanted her to earn the edible lovebug again by taking a picture of some, but they were so hard to capture with the camera...I was hoping to post a picture but none were clear enough so you'd get the idea of the lovebug. But she tried and did earn them again (again with no freaking out!).
I don't want to go as far as saying she won't have any more issues with lovebugs, but we have finished this lovebug season on a very happy (and not-so-scared) note! I hope that you can find a fun way to deal with childhood fears (and that they taste as yummy as edible oreo lovebugs)! Have you done any crafts or snack to help your child overcome a fear? I'd love for you to share it with us!