The Kissing Hand Eases Separation Anxiety

by Donne Davis on May 18, 2010

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Helping my three-year old granddaughter get over her separation anxiety when her mother left for an appointment (see my last post) motivated me to learn more about separation anxiety. In my research I discovered a sweet book, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, that can help children deal with their separation anxiety.

I read it to my granddaughter and she loved it. What I found so appealing about the story is the ritual between the mother and child that helps ease his separation. Chester raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time. His mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him. She places a kiss in the palm of his hand and says, “Now whenever you feel lonely and need a little loving from home, just press your hand to your cheek and think, ‘Mommy loves you. Mommy loves you.’ And that very kiss will jump to your face and fill you with toasty warm thoughts.”

Penn wrote The Kissing Hand in 1993 and it continues to be a classic resource for parents and teachers to prepare young children for new experiences. She uses reassuring phrases such as “sometimes we all have to do things we don’t want to do, even if they seem strange and scary at first.”

On her imaginative website Penn explains that the inspiration for the book came when she actually saw a mother raccoon kiss the palm of her cub and then the cub put the kiss on his face. When Penn’s daughter was afraid to go to kindergarten, they tried the mommy raccoon’s kiss in the hand and it worked.

This book is recommended for ages 3 to 8 and would make a wonderful baby gift for new mothers or grandmothers.

{ 1 comment }

Susan Adcox May 23, 2010 at 6:44 am

What a great post! Rituals can help us all through tough times.

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