Mum's genius (and sweet) way to help anxious son get through the school day

Kinderling News & Features

As a parent with an anxious child, you'd do almost anything to help your little one get through the day with a little more ease. 

That's exactly why a year ago, mum of three Louise Mallett came up with a genius idea to help her youngest child who was feeling emotional and anxious about his first day of school. Her simple hack has since been shared and used so many times by parents that it might now be turned into a book to help other kids overcome their worries. 

A brand new environment

Some children have no problems settling into daycare or preschool and can’t wait to front up to their first day of school. However, for many young kids, it’s the cause of extreme anxiety and nerves, as they struggle to cope with the emotions of being away from their parents or home while being exposed to new people and things in a different environment. 

Nerves on the first day

This is what happened with Louise Mallet’s youngest son when he started school. To help him transition with less worry and more confidence, she whipped out a pen and devised a simple technique called the ‘hug button’ to give her child a bit of a ‘helping hand’ for the day.

A bond of love

“So my littlest baby had his first all dayer at school today, having been in for a couple of morning settling in sessions,” wrote Louise in her Facebook post.

“I could tell he was feeling a little emotional this morning so we had a chat and came up with the idea of having a heart each and if we pressed it, it sent a hug to the other one…it totally worked! I drew a heart on both our hands and gave him a spare one on his arm in case the one on his hand wore off, we ‘charged’ them by holding hands on the way to school and when I picked him up I said did you get my hugs and he happily said yep!”

Hooray for hugs 

Louise’s son did say that he had to press his heart for a long time, but he didn’t cry, which was a big contrast to his half-day school sessions previously where he was quite emotional. So the ‘hug button’ worked better than Louise imagined, but what she didn’t bank on was that once he was all sorted at school, she might actually need it herself.

“Here’s to many more happy days at school while I sit at home with the dog and cry that all my babies are at school now,” she wrote.

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Even the smallest gesture makes a difference

Now a year on from her original post, Louise has posted an update saying just how much attention her cute ‘hug button’ idea has received these past 12 months. She’s also now written a rhyming book about the concept which she’s hoping to have published so that other young kids who might be anxious about daycare, preschool, school or any other situations where they might be separated from their parents or loved ones (such as in a divorce), can feel reassured and more confident about being independent.

Grabbing the biro now …

What do you think about the ‘hug button’? Do you have any other tips for helping anxious kids cope with being away from you? 

This post originally appeared on Babyology