Written by contributor Melissa Allen of Green Owl Art.
We moved to Portland about a month ago and I have to say the transition has been good. Although, I was so scared to live so far from my family, it has been easier than I expected. With so many ways to stay connected now, it helps me to feel closer than we actually are.
Since my children are not up to speed on emailing Grandma or texting their aunts, I think it is very important to help them feel connected to family and sadly…help them to remember. Children can not rationalize a move or understand why a “short” plane flight is a positive thing, but they can understand that family even from afar loves them and thinks of them very often. So, when Emma was missing her family recently, I wanted to give her something special to be comforted by.
I thought a photo box just for her, would be perfect. A place where she could keep special photos of her family. I had her pick out all the photos that she wanted to keep in the box, it was neat to see what she picked and why. We found this adorable paper mache house at Micheal’s and Emma painted it with water colors. I think any sort of box would work for this, but who could resist this little house. When it was dry she glued on little windows and added family looking out at us. We put all of her photos in the box. I told her whenever she was missing our family she could open her box and know that they are all very close in our hearts and that they think of her everyday. The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting in a pile of photos, talking about happy memories and looking forward to seeing everyone very soon.
I could have just given Emma some photos to look at when she was feeling sad, but having her get involved in this project made it all the more special to her and also was a great way for her to express the way she was feeling through art. Any time spent doing a project with a child is a great opportunity to talk, laugh and enjoy each other. That’s what was special about this afternoon to me.
Speak your mind
Have you had to move away from family or a familiar territory? How did you help your child cope with the change and distance from familiar faces and places? Would you try making a photo box to give your child extra comfort? Feel free to post your comments below. And if you make a photo box, I’d love to see a picture on our Facebook wall!