Arizona is a girl who likes to know what’s happening ahead of time. She thrives on visual schedules and really likes to talk about things well before they happen.
When I first started going on trips without Arizona, I came up with a creative way to keep her in touch with what I was doing. This way she knows that even though I’m not physically present, I am still thinking about her.
Here’s my process :
- Visualize my projected schedule for the time I’m gone – what I’ll be doing and with whom
- Put together a letter for each day that I’m gone, explaining to Arizona what I’m going to do that day and talk about what I did the previous day
- Pull pictures, from the internet or from files, to illustrate my trip
- Leave the letters by Arizona’s bed, decorated with colorful art & stickers, so that she has one to open each night that I’m gone. For example, if I leave on Friday and come back on Sunday, I will have a Friday Letter and Saturday Letter waiting for Arizona to read each of those nights before bed.
Arizona is much less anxious when I leave. She has the letters to look forward to and feels connected to me, even as I am away.
I’d love to hear different ideas you use to help ease transitions and lower anxiety for your children. Do you follow a certain routine? How does this help your child / children?