I wasn’t really sure how to approach the situation, but had read that giving her something new to focus on would be a good idea. I agreed. My husband and I decided we needed to talk things over to figure out what that new focus would be. We solicited several suggestions from friends and family who mentioned everything from a new chore to having her help decorate her new space.
None of the suggestions seemed right at time, so we were genuinely at a loss and decided to table the issue for a few days. During this time, a church in our neighborhood was hosting their annual Fall Carnival and my mother decided it would be a good idea to take the grandchildren. Figuring it would be a good change in scenery; I sent my daughter off to enjoy some time with Nana.
Upon their return, she was eager to share the details of what a great time she’d had. Very quickly, she began talking about all the rides and games and shenanigans her two younger cousins had caused. She spoke so quickly, in fact, she skipped right over the part that included how a hermit crab would now be coming to live with us…and in the middle of a move!!
After a brief explanation from Nana, I learned that the hermit crab, which has been named Sebastian, had actually been won as a prize and that all the other cousins were afraid of it. Not wanting it to go uncared for, my child lovingly agreed to take the crustacean in.
Much to my surprise, it turned out to be the perfect distraction! The sadness of moving was completely overshadowed by her new duties as a pet owner. Although it wasn’t quite the distraction I was looking for, it was definitely a successful one.
Have you ever had to help your child transition through a difficult time in their life? How did you handle it?
Nikki Hall-Branch is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Mom to one animal-loving daughter.