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Discussion Guide for Big Humans

The following is a starting point for talking to your child about adversity using Milo as a metaphor. 

  1. When Milo faces pain and loss it's important to tell your child that this is all part of being a sea star (starfish). 

    • Sea stars lose arms all the time. Sometimes they lose them accidentally and sometimes they lose them to save themselves from predators. ​

    • Normalizing pain doesn't mean we don't help our children feel it or have compassion for it. But, it does help them feel like they can get through it because others have before them. 

    • Also, and this is an important part of reading the story with them: Milo's pain is temporary. His arm will grow back. He will be ok. Giving your child this reassurance, lets them know that painful things that happen in life do have an expiration date. It won't feel this bad forever. Good things will happen again. 

  2. When Milo loses his arm in the sea storm, what does he learn? Here are some answers to those questions. But, you may find others with your child. 

    • He learns that his body has its own wisdom and he can trust it to heal. BUT, that healing takes time. And being patient while it's healing is hard and frustrating. 

    • He learns that knowing sea stars lose their arms all the time is not the same thing as going through it himself. 

    • He learns how to use his arms, feet and breath to regulate his anxiety. 

    • He learns how to journal and express his emotions so they don't stay bottled up in his body while it's healing.​

    • He learns to ask for help from the right grown-ups and to trust his own inner voice. 

    • He learns he can find new ways to cartwheel even while he's healing. 

    • He learns that if he doesn't do the things that bring him joy while he's healing that he won't heal as quickly. 

    • He learns that he has his own destiny and it's all tied to what makes him special and different. 

  3.  Milo wants to be like all the other sea stars, even the ones who are hurtful towards him. Why do you think that is?

    • We all want to feel seen and accepted by others. ​

    • Being teased and singled out can feel scary. Wanting to blend in can feel less scary and dangerous. 

    • He doesn't know why he's different yet.

To find out more about the many lessons Milo learns along his journey, and how this journey can help your child learn to bounce back, please click the link below to purchase the book. *A full discussion guide will be available later this year. 


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