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“I want to be a super hero, I want to be a super hero… I want to be a puppy dog!” 

It’s that time of year – Halloween. Months and weeks of deciding on costumes and then the inevitable changing of the mind, the increased range of emotions, and the seemingly random outbursts.

I started working with Thomas in October and his parents told me that he was very enthusiastic each year about the holidays and making his choices for his costume, presents, candy, etc. But then they explained that as soon as they got excited with him and got to the actual day – he would change his mind, get all upset and seemed like the holidays and celebrations were destroyed, ruined and just not fun!

With therapeutic support, we collaborated together to understand how stress is experienced in the brain, how disruptive patterns don’t have to be normalized but rather how change and fun can actually happen.

First we explored the psycho-education piece – “what does the brain look like during stress and how does it work?” Then, “how do we recogize what a child needs by looking at the body?” and finally, “how can we move and embody this experience so that a new pattern happens?”

Thomas was excited to learn that his feelings in conjunction with the significant changes of the holidays – weather, schedules, noises, people, etc, had brought a sense of unknown which caused a bit of stress. He then celebrated the idea of working out how he could be more aware of what was to come and to then use his words and body to ask for help and gain support instead of changing his mind or acting out.

He practiced by moving and pretending “halloween.” He learned through play and even passed back and forth ideas of “what if’s?” and “oh no’s?”, exploring options for problem solving and handling any unexpected moments.

Thomas’s parents realized that it was much easier to set him up for succes by playing out scenarios and planning with him.

How does your child handle the holidays? I work with children of all ages and their families to find ways to cope during the challenges and excitements of everyday and the holidays! Email me at therapy@drloribaudino.com or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.

Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.

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