The Art of Being Apart
Anxiety and sadness over separating and saying good-bye is typical for young children and school-aged children in early grades. The best way to support children through this is to set up a clear plan in advance of the farewells including who, what, where, and, when, stick only to the facts, and allow time for questions and concerns.
Validate their feelings by acknowledging that you understand why they feel that way. Offer reassurance on what you will do to make sure separating feels safe and predictable for everyone. Practice easy strategies like taking deep breaths, positive affirmations, and rehearsing the facts.
The Art of Being Apart with Linton gives kids 5 minutes of focused time on the topic of being apart from special people. A few tips to consider:
- Know your students and what their family situations are.
- For some, this topic may trigger more anxiety due to a longer term separation or death. Acknowledge, anonymously, that children experience all kinds of situations where they are apart from people they care about and if anyone would like to talk about this in private, that you are available.
- Use this when major transitions happen – the start of the school year, before and after long breaks, and the end of the school year.
- Pair with a book, like The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn or The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr
This activity includes a conversation guide that can be adjusted based on the grade you teach and how much time you have.
Use them for a whole class discussion or partner chats. The activity ties in nicely to ELA standards and can be completed in the classroom or the home to reinforce the learning.
Download The Art of Being Apart Activity.