Monday, March 12, 2012

anxious kid lit

Just in Case
I've been searching high and low for a great book to deal with the subject of kidlets and anxiousness for Boy-o.  I found the perfect book in the form of just in case, by Judith Viorst (Of Alexander and the No Good, Very Bad Day fame).  just in case (Simon and Schuster, 2006) follows the thoughts of Charlie, a tot who worries a lot about random bad things that might happen, "... Charlie tries to be ready.  And Charlie likes to be ready.  Just in case."  Charlie worries about food shortages, and lions breaking out of the zoo and strange birds that might come and carry him away, forcing him to eat gross worms and live in a nest full of scratchy, pokey twigs.  So, Charlie makes gazillions of sandwiches, digs holes to trap straying lions and carries a parachute, lest he need to jump out of high bird nests.  The kid has big big worries about being caught unprepared for whatever challenges might greet him.  In the end, Charlie finds himself in the middle of his own surprise party, wholly unprepared, and realizes that maybe, just maybe it might be okay to roll with it sometimes, even though he'd really much rather be prepared.  I loved how the book acknowledges worries and anxiety without having a magic cure-all moment.  Charlie manages to enjoy the element of surprise despite being unprepared for it, but the book still ends with his preference for preparedness.   It deals with kid anxieties while acknowledging that these anxieties don't magically disappear - we just have to work on finding ways to deal with them as best we can.   I love it.  My anxious Boy-o (who lately has taken to emergency preparedness for natural disasters) loves it. Win/ Win, I'd say.

1 comment:

  1. I worked with a middle schooler once who had the most honest to goodness anxiety I've ever experienced in such a tot. I will never forget the day she read the word "progressive muscle relaxation" in a simlar anxiety workbook and looked up at me and said, "You taught me that!" As if astonished that anything I might have to say would actually be worthy of printing in a book. It was hilarious!