Teaching Aiden Confidence Using Disney Planes: How A Peanut Allergy Effects A Child

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Have a kid that could use a dose of confidence? Does he love Disney Planes? Read on to see how we used Aiden’s love of Planes to instill confidence in him!

Teaching kids confidence using their favorite character #PlanestotheRescue

Do you have a child that struggles with confidence? I do. His name is Aiden. He is four years old and he is the light of my life. He is shy and quiet, very reserved. Once you get to know him you will discover a little boy who is full of life and energy and loves anything with an engine and wheels. He is all boy, but remains mama’s little sweetie with the kindest heart I’ve ever seen. He is sensitive and sweet. He thinks about people’s feelings and just has a sweet soul. He holds a special piece of my heart.

Aiden with Peanut Allergy Kit - Must Have Mom

At one year old we discovered that Aiden has a life threatening peanut allergy. His allergy is severe and despite our numerous precautions and attention to his allergy, it continues to get worse each year he is re-tested. For him that means that he doesn’t get to be a carefree four year old boy like most boys his age. At a young age he has had to learn the importance of his peanut allergy and how it effects him. That means that if he comes to the grocery store with me he isn’t allowed to touch anything as it might be contaminated with peanuts. He knows he can’t leave my side and he doesn’t dare touch anything. He knows how severe the consequences can be. Should he touch a surface where peanut residue has been left behind it could send him into anaphylaxis meaning his throat could swell shut and he could stop breathing. That’s a pretty heavy thing to deal with at four years old.

He won’t ever take a cookie from you if you should offer it to him. First he will come ask me if it’s safe to eat. Even when I’ve been the one to prepare his food at a friend’s home he still comes back and double checks to ensure it is indeed peanut free. I’m so proud of him for learning about his allergy and for taking the steps to ensure he is safe even at a young age. Everywhere we go he brings his “peanut bag” as he calls it, which contains his life saving epi-pen and emergency medications. We hope no one ever has to use it.

Aiden with Epi-Pen and Medical Alert Bracelet

I think that the combination of Aiden’s quiet nature when mixed with his precautions he must take due to his peanut allergy has caused him to hang back from the crowd more often than not. He doesn’t like to be left without us and in a group of kids he takes a LONG time to warm up and play with them. I’m working on teaching Aiden confidence. I want him to be confident and sure of himself and not grow up with a fear or anxiety about going out in public, away from his nut-free safe haven at home.

So we start with knowledge. Knowledge is power and teaching Aiden all that I can about his allergy, at a level he can understand, instills confidence in him. By showing him how his epi-pen works we remove the fear of the unknown. If you ask him about his medic alert bracelet he will tell you why he wears it. It’s all he’s ever known. He’s worn it every day since his diagnosis at one year old. He doesn’t know what it’s like to not have it on. He knows why it’s important and why he wears it. We talk about symptoms of a peanut reaction and what he should do if he’s having them or thinks he has eaten something with peanuts. By arming him with knowledge I can remove the fear of the unknown and instill confidence in what he does know and what he can control around him.

Disney Planes Fire and Rescue Toys #PlanestotheRescue #Shop #CollectiveBias

One of his favorite characters is Dusty from the Disney Planes movie. He LOVES Dusty and has been asking me to buy him a Dusty plane since the original Planes movie came out. With the new movie Planes: Fire & Rescue coming out soon I’ve seen new Dusty toys popping up at Walmart. When we were there I realized how we could harness the qualities that Dusty displays in the movie and use that to teach Aiden confidence. What better way to teach him than to relate the lessons to his favorite character? Genius!

Aiden with #PlanestotheRescue Pontoon Dusty Plane - Must Have Mom

Aiden was over the moon to get Pontoon Dusty which talks and has wheels to push him around on the floor. Aiden couldn’t wait to get him home and play with him. I couldn’t wait to teach Aiden about how Dusty shows confidence and Aiden can too! Win Win!

Aiden and Dusty #PlanestotheRescue

I took Dusty out of the box and struck up a conversation about the original Planes movie. I asked him if Dusty ever had to be confident. Was there ever a time when Dusty felt afraid and had to be confident that he knew what to do? Aiden’s eyes lit up and he quickly filled me in on the plot line of Planes and how Dusty had to overcome his fears and be confident in order to win the race. I loved seeing that light in his eyes. Once he finished telling me all about Dusty’s story I explained to him how he can be confident too. That he knows what he needs to do and there is no reason to be unsure of himself. He’s smart and fun and he should be bold and confident. I could see that the lesson really clicked for him. Once he could relate it to a story and character that was familiar to him he understood what it meant to have confidence.

Teaching Confidence Using Disney Planes #PlanestotheRescue

To reinforce my lesson on confidence with him I finished out by having Aiden use Dusty to teach his friends from Planes: Fire & Rescue about confidence. It was so great to hear him talk to Dusty’s friends and tell them what confidence is and how they can be confident. Aiden will be starting preschool next year. With that I know there will be many new situations which will leave Aiden feeling unsure and likely leave him feeling scared. I can only hope that in those moments he thinks back to this day and harnesses this lesson he learned and uses it to be bold and confident. I know he can do anything and I don’t want anything to hold him back!

Disney Planes Fire & Rescue Toys #PlanestotheRescue

Funny what a few characters can do isn’t it?

How do you teach your kids confidence?

Comments

  1. vickie couturier says:

    what a nice post,,he is so beautiful and you can tell he has a gentle spirit,,my grandson is allergic to ants,,any of them not just the fire ants,,one can bite him and his whole ankle or whatever got bitten will swell up huge,,luckly the first time it happened to me I had some benedryl oral and cream,,still ended up going to the doctor

  2. That is a awesome way to explain things to a little person and way to make him feel comfortable and confident.

  3. Such a great way to teach your child about confidence. Love the little toys too!

  4. Aiden is so lucky to have a mom like you! Kids need to learn confidence early. It affects everything they’ll ever do in life.

  5. What a great way to approach a really important topic without making it too heavy on your little guy. Combining play with life lessons is a great way to get the point across without making the child feel overwhelmed. Good job!

  6. Your little boy is adorable! What a great way to explain things and promote a happy childhood.

  7. What a sweetie pie! I don’t have any kids but I love how you help to give him confidence like that, you are such a good mama!!!

  8. So wonderful that you could teach such an important life lesson through play.

  9. I can not even imagine how scary it is to have a loved one with a deadly allergy. I love how you used Dusty to teach him about confidence.

  10. look at that little cutie! food allergies scare me and i always try to be mindful of others with allergies when packing camp snacks for my toddler.

  11. This is such a great idea and your son is so cute! I wish I had thought of something like this when my daughter was younger!

  12. That is awesome, he’s a pretty cool kid! Allergies are so tough for kids!!

  13. Jenna Wood says:

    I’m sure it can also be hard for his friends to understand his allergies and it is great that he is so educated about it to feel empowered and confident when he is around them! #Client

  14. Angela S says:

    I certainly understand why Aiden struggles with confidence. How scary that must be to have a peanut allergy. I am so glad you are finding ways to help him build some confidence. He is precious.

  15. This is an awesome idea, looks like your little guy is a smart cookie. He will do awesome!

  16. What a great way to enforce great self confidence. He is just adorable. I loved how creative and caring you were 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  17. So cute and what a great idea for him. IT’s so important that we support our children and help them along the way, your little guy is super!

  18. Awwww..he is adorable… what a great way to teach him with planes and make him gain confidence..love it…thanks for sharing

  19. Super cute kid! My son would love all these Planes toys too!

  20. What a great post. It’s wonderful that you have found a way to keep your son confident despite his food allergy!

  21. What a wonderful idea, so glad this is working out! I love it! These photos are great, he looks as happy as can be!

  22. What a great way to relate a confidence building activity with a character your son can relate to! That helps make the lesson even more memorable and something he can understand! And such a cute toy too!

  23. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    What a gorgeous and photogenic little boy. I love what you are teaching him. Confidence is so important and many people lack it.

  24. I teach confidence by encouraging and reminding them how bright they are.

  25. It’s great that he’s so cautious and takes it seriously. Without that, it could all go wrong. You’re doing a great job of easing him into relaxing a bit and gaining that confidence.

  26. What a great way to teach him confidence! I love it. Awesome job Mommy!

  27. He is a cutie!! Love that you are helping him build his confidence.

  28. I love how kids movies now a-days are not only about ‘finding prince charming’ but about being yourself and standing up for what you believe in. So many more life lessons in todays movies!

  29. What a great way to help him gain confidence, particularly since it’s a health issue!

  30. This was a wonderful post. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story.

  31. What a great way to teach him confidence. He’s so cute by the way!

  32. It’s wonderful that your teach your son to be confident and be in control of his allergy. Nice that he uses the toy as a teaching tool. Dusty is so awesome and the new toys look fun to play with.

  33. I love that you are teaching him confidence at an early age. That is a bummer about his peanut allergy. Good thing he knows to ask first.

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