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To Infinity and Beyond!

After watching a short interview with Woody and Buzz Lightyear (Tom Hanks and Tim Allan) yesterday, I started to think about the Toy Story films and the lessons I learned as an 11 year old. As I edge closer to my mid-30’s, it is no longer socially acceptable for me to carry my favourite toy around with me but I still carry the life long lessons that Toy Story instilled in me all these years ago.

One of the key themes from these great films is Jealousy and Acceptance. We all remember poor Woody feeling very jealous when Andy brought home his new toy “Buzz Lightyear”. Did this mean Woody was being replaced as Andy’s favourite toy? Woody’s jealousy of losing his place as “Andy’s favourite” led him to act very unkindly to Buzz. His actions reflected his jealousy. Eventually, Woody understands that his actions are not in line with his moral code of him being a good guy and Woody learns to accept Buzz and they become life-long friends.

Jealousy is a hard thing to experience at any age Sometimes adults are better at hiding it than children!! Being aware of your triggers will help you notice where these feelings and thoughts are coming from. It is important to find the right person to talk to about these feelings so you can look after yourself and make sense of the feelings you are experiencing.

Another key theme explored throughout the movies was that of change. Change is a powerful force for good or bad, and can be awful whatever stage of life you are in. After watching Woody say farewell to Andy, I will admit, I did shed a tear.

Change happens to all of us. Sometimes we strive for it, and other times we fight to prevent it. Whether we have an impending arrival of a baby, a move overseas, a change of job or changes in our relationships, change can leave us feeling lost and worried.

When change occurs, it can be important to ensure you have a few things that are still regular in your routine. This can create an anchor and help us to see that not everything is changing and our brain can rest a little. Sometimes we won’t need the anchor for very long, but it will help us manage the transition we are in. Try to identify a simple thing – a regular coffee date with a friend, having exercise as part of your regular routine, or even a regular outfit/meal that you can enjoy. Keep that anchored into your routine for as long as you look forward to it.

Finally, we remember poor Rex, who was anxious and nervous about the unknown all the time. He found himself worrying over every small thing. Let’s not forget that he was the one that helped Woody cross a busy road and he survived recess at terrible Sunnyside!

You are braver than you think. Being brave does not mean you are not scared, it means that, like Rex, you probably are scared but you go ahead and do it anyway!

After four very successful films, these toys have learned some valuable lessons in life. Toys can really help us to communicate, process and learn valuable lessons. If you feel your child would benefit from play therapy, or you would like to find out more about it, then please get in touch with Kate.

Together we can take these lessons to “Infinity and beyond!!”

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