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Goodbye Keepsakes
Type: Exercise   Skills: Social & Emotional Skills
Whether you have to leave your child for the day with a child care provider, or you're simply in another room of your house, your child may react to your absence with sadness and anxiety. In this activity, you’ll learn how a goodbye keepsake can help your child overcome his or her separation anxiety. Goodbye Keepsakes
What We Learn


Supply List
Stuffed animal
Pocket watch
Large key on a keychain
Identify an object which can serve as a transitional item you can leave with your child. The object might be a stuffed animal, a photograph, a pocket watch or a large key on a keychain. As always, pick an object that is age-appropriate and safe for your child to handle.

At the time of the transition, remind your child where you are going and explain to the child when they will see you again. Even though your child may not understand numbers or how to tell time, giving your child a specific time when they will see you again will help make the concept more concrete to him or her.

Give the goodbye keepsake to your child. Remind them how special the object is to you and how much you appreciate them keeping the object while you are away. Explain how, by them keeping the item, it will keep the two of you connected while you are away.

Upon your return, ask for your child to return the special keepsake item. Now that you’ve returned, explain how you’ll be able to care for the object and keep it in a safe place.

Children really respond to the safety and predictability of routines. Make sure that you consistently use this same transitional object and this same routine whenever you are leaving your child. This simple routine will really help alleviate anxiety your child might feel at the time of your departure.
Find Activities

Related Episode
Separation Anxiety II
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