Many of your children will have started back at School this week; some will have sailed back in, full of confidence and excitement. Others will take a while to warm up to the idea of School, routines and change.
Over on my YouTube channel, (yep, that is right I have taken the plunge and created a channel, not sure how I managed it but it does exist!), I have posted a short video about a few things that I use with my daughter to help navigate change. If you want to listen in just click here.
Here are three of my ideas if your child needs a little more re-assurance when it comes to transitions, changes or firsts.
- The use of story
I am passionate about the use of story and books to help children navigate through the world. The Kissing Hand is a technique that is introduced through this book, and is something concrete you can teach your child to use when you are not there. I am not going to ruin the surprise of the story, so head out to your local Book Shop, Amazon or the Library to get your own. The copy we purchased also had an audio of the story with it. It is a popular book in the States and there are a great deal of online resources linked with it should you wish to delve into the message of the story further.
- The use of a small comfort object
The object that we use in our house is a small felt heart that I made ages ago while running art classes for adults in my community with learning and special needs. This is something that your child (age and skill set dependent) could make themselves as it is so simple:
- make a heart (or shape of your choice) template
- draw round template twice on material of choice (I used scraps of felt)
- sew around 3/4 of it in a simple running stitch
- stuff heart with left over scraps
- continue to sew the heart up until the stitching goes all your shape, finish off your stitching
The comfort object (use whatever you like as long as it is not a toy) is then used to remind your child of you or a message that is associated with it. For us, my daughter and I talked about what she would need to help her through her first few days at a new school: bravery, courage, risk taking, kindness. She then put the heart in her pocket and when she needed a boost in the day, she would either reach in and touch the heart or just touch her pocket where the heart was.
- The use of affirmations
The power of positive thought! Together my daughter and I created an affirmation jar, and filled it with age and life appropriate affirmations or mantras, which were found after googling ‘children’s affirmations’ and then printing. We have placed the container near the front door, filled it with the affirmations and now on our way out in the morning, she picks one, reads it and sometimes puts it in her pocket to carry around for the day and other times pops it back in and promises to remember its message!
Since creating this jar, I felt so passionately about the positive change that can come about from using these affirmations on a daily basis with both children and adults, I have gone on to create a set of Family Affirmation Cards, which I will be selling in the not too distant future.
What do you do to help your children transition through change, would love to hear your ideas.
If you want to reach out to me, about this blog or anything that is coming up for your on your parenting journey, then do via: firstname.lastname@example.org, as I would love to hear from you.