Since allowing Amelia to watch Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Sunday night, I have had to think up lots and lots of good ways to get her out of her terrible bedtime-anxiety-thought-spirals. She gets herself really worked up: afraid of getting afraid while thinking of the scary parts of the movie. Even though I distinctly remember struggling with the exact same thing as a child, it’s still maddening to keep trying to calm her down and then have her dissolve into panicked tears for what seems like no good reason.
It’s possible that my strategies are all crap, and the ones I think worked are just the ones that bored her to sleep — but that’s a win in and of itself, I guess. We’ve tried doing math, talking about happy moments to think about instead, planning fun outings for the summer, talking about why the story doesn’t even makes sense, etc. I even busted out my feminist critique of the story and waxed philosophical about the repercussions that might arise from trying to start a loving relationship when you had given up your main method of self-expression.
Last night’s winner: practicing her cursive writing on the mattress with an imaginary pencil. Sensory, concrete, and probably super-boring after a while.
Got any other recommendations for ways to pull a kid out of an anxiety attack? Because I have the feeling I’ll need new ideas tonight.