Here are some ways to help your child transition from the person who left and help them openly receive the new professional coming into their life:
- Have closure. This can be anything from a one-to-one meeting, a short visit in the community (going to a coffee shop or favorite bookstore) or having a group goodbye.
- Make something special. A card or a short story will allow your child to put down in words what that person meant to him or her. Often times there is regret on the child's part for not expressing to the person who left how much they meant. Writing allows an expression of feelings when verbalizing them may be too difficult.
- Assure your child that the person leaving was not because of anything they did or didn't do.
- Be careful not to make comparisons with the person who left to the new person in your child's life. Most likely, your child will be looking to you for permission to like the new person. Be sure to give that permission openly.
And finally, it may not always be possible for the staff who left to keep in touch so you should avoid making that promise. Saying goodbye is never easy, but your child will come to learn that, when properly handled, it can open the door to more relationships and new friendships.
Manager of PWS Services