Transitions are often hard at our house. It was obvious when the kids were very little that those were the toughest times of the day… from breakfast to getting dressed… from playtime to cleaning up… from using glitter markers to non-glitter… from crunchy to creamy. Anything. Heck, I know lots of adults who still have a tough time with transitions, including myself. Human nature.
As the school year begins, these rusty spots during transitions manifest themselves in our kiddos in the form of worry. New teachers. New kids. New friends. New systems in the day. New rules. New anxieties. It’s all hard to watch, since we’ve all been there. So we’ve built in some extra mindfulness to help.
Hence, a bowl of worry stones.
Nothing fussy. Nothing fancy. But on my dresser I keep a small dish of extra beads, buttons, stones… really any sort of little item will do. And the kids know they are free to take them as they wish in the morning, tuck one away in their pocket on a day that they feel a little more unsettled than usual with our transition. It’s just a physical reminder that they aren’t alone in their day, that they have lots of love behind them.
Do the worry stones get lost on the playground? Yes. Do they end up at the bottom of our washing machine. Of course. Might they get traded for jellybeans at lunch? Perhaps. And oh well. In those little anxious-ridden moments at school drop-off, they work. Or at least they keep us believing they do.
So I keep the dish full… for all of us.