As we all know, children love their mommies, thank goodness! However, as children grow and mature they will begin to transition to activities such as daycare, school, gymnastics class, or any other activities that keep them out of the house and with other adults for an extended amount of time. During this time, you may notice an increase in separation anxiety. This is not uncommon, and is actually normal and healthy! Supporting and validating your child’s feelings is extremely important in helping them learn and grow from the experiences.
Supporting your child through their feelings
Though children are little, many of them have BIG feelings. When a child is feeling sad or scared, it is extremely important to discuss their feelings with zero judgment. Every person, big or small, is entitled to feel however they would like. As parents, it is our job to listen to our children and allow them to tell you exactly how they are feeling and why. We can show children we care through simple body language: getting on their level, looking at them, giving them undivided attention as well as making sure that they know it is okay to feel the way they do.
Teaching your child about their feelings
After listening to and validating their feelings, it is important to help them learn more about their feelings. It is extremely important not to solve the problem for them. Even though they are little, I promise you they can do it! Having them solve their problems on their own is going to help them so much more in the long run.
When looking to help your child learn how to begin to solve their problems, it is important to teach them with something they can make a personal connection with. Children’s literature is an AMAZING tool for this. There are millions of books out there on almost every topic you would ever want. Kids connect with the characters and think about events that happened in their lives. It allows them to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and see how they reacted and solved their problem.
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My favorite book in the whole world and the book I used for this activity is The Kissing Hand By: Audrey Penn. This book allows children to connect to the main character, Chester and how he felt leaving his mom to go to school.
After reading the story with your child and discussing how Chester felt you can talk with them about how they feel when they have to go places without you. You will be surprised by how much they will be able to tell you about their feelings!
Now comes my favorite part! You are going to make a kissing hand together! This part you can be creative with depending on what you would like to do. You can make a kissing hand for just your child or you can each make one for one another just like Chester gave his Mommy one in the story.
Materials You Will Need
- Construction Paper
- Laminating machine (not needed but it does preserve it and allows you to keep it for a long time)
DIY Kissing Hand
Use your pencil to trace the shape of either your hand or your child’s hand onto the construction paper.
Use a marker, I like to use black so it stands out, and write, “Mommy Love You!” on your hand. *Be sure to leave space in the middle when you write it.
Cut out the hand shape.
Put on a bright shade of lipstick, try not to put it on too heavy but enough to have the lip marks sticks to the paper. After applying the lipstick, firmly press your lips onto the paper right in the middle of the hand!
After the lipstick has dried a few minutes, place the hand in a Scotch laminating pouch and run it through the Scotch Laminator. Finally, cut around your hand shape again, leaving some lamination around the edges so it does not separate from the paper over time.
With these kissing hands, you will always be with your child no matter where they are. I promise you, it helps! How can I promise this? My mom did it for me! I struggled with going to school so my mom did this exact activity with me and it was the only way I got to school each day without a meltdown. So try it! Have fun together! Please let me know how it goes. I hope it works as well for you as it did for me!