Sometimes life brings us sudden separations ranging from long to short, where we just can’t be there for children; the young child who desperately misses their mum in hospital with premature babies; illnesses for child or parent; new starts at nursery or school, a parent at work when something important is going on for your child.
One way to help a child (and parent) manage separation is to establish creative ways where you can still think of each other, feel connected, when not together. For example, you can draw a heart on the inside of each of your wrists. You can say that you will press the heart when you are thinking of them, and they can press it too, that this is a communication channel between the two of you. If a child is doing a presentation at school that they are nervous about, this is also a lovely way for them to feel your support.
You can play with this, designing simple images that are relevant to you both, have a draw a heart on your wrist, you on them. It’s a very simple, but effective way to keep connected. And when you’re together again, you can talk about how it felt, the different times you pressed it, when you needed it. It can be a huge relief to know that someone is thinking about you, holding you in mind during times of difficulty and separation. And it’s a wonderful way to model self-support.