Here is a go-to list to empower children when a parent has to leave town.
Many parents have to leave town routinely for work. Many children exhibit clinginess, withdrawl or acting-out behaviors in response to feeling out of control of this situation. Creating ritual around this event can help children process their emotions and feel safe. These tangible exercises serve to give children a sense of control over the powerlessness they may feel. These rituals give the child something to look forward to whenever a parent gets ready to leave town.
- The Outing: A special outing that is always taken the day the parent leaves and the day they return. This can be as simple as a walk around the block or a short drive to a natural look out (river, lake, ocean, mountain, etc.)
- The Date: Going out for a simple tea or a meal at a near by cafe or restaurant; this is done before departure and on the day of the return. This serves as a “book-end” for the trip.
- The Letter: This is a nightly letter wherein you “describe your day.” You and your child can work on this letter together. Your child can dictate while you write, you can write while your child illustrates, or your child can write their own letter. (If your child is pre-verbal, he can participate with drawings and enjoy your narration and the activity of “describing your day.”)
- The Token: This is a special object that your child carries in his pocket, or sleeps with under his pillow until the traveling parent returns.
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About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today’s progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.