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.
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.
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.
THE ORIGINAL HUG BUTTON STORY©️Update : wow nearly a year on and this is still getting so much love ! Please continue…
“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!”
Read more about children and anxiety:
- It’s not always OK: How to respond to a child’s anxiety
- Could it be anxiety? How to help your worried little one
- Separation anxiety: How to help your child settle at daycare
Hugs all round
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.
The help they need
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? Share them with us on our Facebook page.