Can you handle special occasions?
I’m curious, have you ever noticed how even when you look forward to a special occasion you also feel anxious about it as well? There are plenty of emotions happening inside during holidays, birthdays, and all of our special days. Kids feel the same way but without the ability to self-regulate, and often without the ability to explain how they’re feeling. I wrote this book to help kids understand that overwhelming feelings are normal, and of course to try and help them figure out good ways to handle those BIG feelings!
Gatherings of people are stressful – for everyone!
When my kids were younger, birthday parties were stressful. Truthfully, they sometimes still are. There are lots of people and the excitement level in the house is high, there are so many delightful looking PRESENTS, but they aren’t to open yet! (insert meltdown #1) Now, let’s throw in a whole bunch of friends, who are also excited and who also see that stack of presents (insert meltdown #2). I like to think I got smarter as the kids got older. Now I don’t worry about inviting ALL the kids in the class, or about where we go or what we do. I let my kids decide and for the most part, we keep it low-key. My ten-year-old is now able to articulate what he wants and it’s usually a few close friends doing a favorite activity. (often Fortnite, *sigh*)
There are more special occasions than just birthdays of course. Fireworks, mascots in giant costumes with mouths that don’t move, and family get-togethers where there is no plain pasta in sight are other examples of things that have caused anxiety in our family.
I chose this topic for my third book because I wanted to help kids realize that the overwhelming feelings were (a) normal and (b) could be handled with a little bit of help.