By Rhoda Whitfield
Many children experience difficulty expressing themselves when they have been abruptly separated from their loved ones or caregiver. In this process, they lose focus on how to channel their energy because they are trying to deal with life’s unexpected blow. However, often in the school system when children change schools, the new school may be unaware of what the child has experienced in the last couple of years. In other words, separation from a loved one is not dealt with overnight but over a period of time. Though, if it goes unaddressed, the child is labeled a behavior problem instead of one that is possibly dealing with the problem of separation.
The Supplemental Guide and Journal is designed as a companion to the book “Where Did You Go?” It is to assist a parent or an adult in working with a child or children that have experienced separation from a loved one whether through death, incarceration, abandonment, divorce, parental disputes, or military tours. The guide offers help to stimulate the child through art/visual journaling, provoked discussions, and written journaling. It is to help strengthen and maintain self-discipline by setting aside time to express their daily feelings and thoughts. It also allows them to see that there is nothing wrong with communicating your feelings about a situation which will assist them with better communication skills.
Most importantly, it offers an opportunity for healing emotionally. These activities can be very therapeutic for children. When children are dealing with separation issues, they tend to feel they are the blame or the cause of their loved one leaving. This kind of pressure on a child can cause stress, anxiety, and lack of proper sleep, which will eventually surface in the child’s behavior at school.
Children need our support in their grieving process. What better way than to help them learn how to journal their feelings instead of keeping them bottled up inside?
Where Did You Go? Supplemental Guide and Journal