Saying goodbye to children doesn't have to be a long drawn out, painful process, if you consider a few things: you most likely will see them again in this life or the next one, there is always video and photos to give you some peace of mind, and you might have some gifts stashed away somewhere that also may help you during those really depressing times.
So how can you say goodbye with the least amount of pain?
1. Prepare them days before their departure by counting down the days using a calendar and crossing off each day.
2. Explain to them the fun things that will be going on when they arrive at their destination on one of those days.
3. Make plans for the next visit as it gets closer to their departure date.
4. Take photos with them doing fun things and put them in a small photo album for them to take with them.
5. Talk about the good time you have had with them the night before.
6. Allow them to cry and comfort them.
7. Practice with them on how to slowly breathe in and out when their emotions seem to get the best of them. Praise them when they do it correctly. Tell them that this exercise helps shorten their cry.
8. Remind them about the fun time they have to look forward to wherever they are headed.
9. Keep them busy with fun activities while they wait for the parent to come and pick them up.
10. Give them snacks and one or two favorite toys on the day of the trip.
11. When you see them starting to get a little bit emotional, remind them to breathe slowly in and out like you practiced and praise them for it.
12. Briefly tell them goodbye, give them a short hug, and don’t let them see you cry.
In conclusion, don't allow anyone to rush your getting over your children's absence. Some people think they are helping you by telling you repeatedly, "It's okay...you will be alright...let's go here...let's do that..." Give yourself some time to get under control. Find ways to remedy your own grief. However, don't wallow in sorrow for long; otherwise, you will find yourself ill.
By Nicholl McGuire