Using literature to deal with issues is one of the easiest ways to approach just about any subject and it comes with the added benefit of increasing literacy skills.
When someone experiences a feeling, they feel validated when they realize that others are experiencing the exact same feeling. So when you read about children or animals who are feeling the same way as your child, your child can relate to the situation and can work through those feelings with more ease.
My absolute favorite separation book is Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. Not only are the illustrations amazing, but the repetition in the book is just right.
It goes through all the emotions of the baby owls as they wait for their mother to return.
This book is great because it can be for any separation and is great for any age.
I could read it over and over again.
My other favorite separation anxiety book is The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.
This book is specifically for children who are going to school and talks about the desire for staying home. It has great lines in it that you can repeat to your children as you are preparing them for school. “You’ll have new toys to play with, new friends to play with and new books to read!”
It is very important when you are dealing with separation anxiety to keep your children in the loop. Oftentimes we want to protect them from what is going to happen, so we just don’t tell them what is going to happen. But that actually creates more anxiety when children don’t know what’s going on or what’s going to happen.
So let your child know when they will be going to school, or when you will be leaving and never sneak out. Always say goodbye and tell them when you will be back so that you can build trust and reduce anxiety.