SAYING GOODBYE IS HARD BUT IS NOT COMPLICATED



THROWING, DONATING OR RENTING TOYS, CHILDREN WILL BE DEALING WITH GOODBYES. THIS IS A VALUABLE LESSON IN THEIR CHILDHOOD.



“Playing has a significant impact on brain development and on the architecture of brain neuron connections, which provide the foundation for continued brain development in future learning, behavior, and health. Early childhood experiences, where the level of brain plasticity is very high, create the pathways and neural networks that are essential for later development” said, Donald Winnicott.


Winnicott, an English pediatrician, and psychoanalyst were one of the most important psychoanalysts of our time.


HE REFERRED TO THE CONCEPT OF PLAYING AS CONNECTED TO CREATIVITY AND CREATION. BY LINKING PLAYING AND GAMES TO CREATIVITY, WINNICOTT GAVE PLAYING GREAT IMPORTANCE TO HUMAN BEINGS, REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGE OR DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE.



We all want to make our young children happy, and there is nothing better than their excited look when they discover that we have purchased a new toy or game that they have shown interest in.


PLAYING HAS GREAT PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE. HOWEVER, AS MANY PARENTS KNOW, AT ONE POINT, THESE PURCHASE JOURNEYS LEAD TO A SITUATION WHERE THE VARIOUS TOYS ACCUMULATE AT HOME.


Wherever we look, we will find another doll that we did not even remember existed. Because it is challenging to find a child who will volunteer to part with his toys, even if he has not played them for a long time, the toys occupy a lot of space in the house, and because we assume our children will grieve, we refrain from throwing or donating them.



WHEN THROWING AWAY TOYS, DONATING THEM OR USING RENTAL SERVICES, CHILDREN ARE DEALING WITH GOODBYES.


When saying goodbye to toys, children learn how to deal with goodbyes in general.

It is crucial to make the separation process as smooth as possible in order to best benefit from it. Here are VALUABLE TIPS:


1. PREPARATION IS THE KEY

Prepare your child for parting with their toy. Even as adults, it is hard to deal with uncertainty and with unpleasant surprises. Priming your child, explaining the box is yours for a limited time, and then will be moving on to the next family will help them be more prepared for the future. Explain that with each goodbye, there is a new hello and that the new box of toys is on its way.


2. INITIATE WITH YOUR CHILD A GOODBYE CEREMONY

Involving your children in the separation process will give them control over their belongings. Do not just make the toys disappear. If the child is older and understands more, it is nice to have them an active part of the packaging. You can involve your child and ask them when and how they want to say goodbye. For example, ask him or her to choose a day when you put the toys back in the box. Start a few days before the actual goodbye so they will have time to adjust to the idea.


3. ALL EMOTIONS ARE LEGITIMATE

Some children will respond with crying, and it is very important to respect any emotional reaction they may have. Be there for them, ask them to share their emotions, and share with them a time when you felt the same feeling. That is the best way for them to learn how to deal with their feelings and to develop essential skills that will help them with similar situations in the future.


4. IF YOU CAN NOT FIND THE RIGHT WORDS,

THOSE BOOK WILL

There are many books about goodbyes. Here are two great options:

Ages 1-2: The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr.

Ages 2-3: Oh, No! Time to Go! By Rebecca Doughty. (available in audio Youtube version, so you do not have to purchase the book!)



About the Author: Orit Zats Peretz

Orit is a clinical child, youth and adult psychologist with MA in Psychology from TLV University. With a proven record of years of experience in the health public sector, she now runs her own clinic in Tel Aviv.

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