Directions

• Make a list of all the people, pets, and supports the child has for helping them cope in tough times. They can list family members, friends, pets, religion, guardian angels, imaginary friends, a community helper who is friendly to them, hopes or dreams, a teacher, etc. If the child has a passion for something (such as sports, music, journaling) they can list this also.

• Have the child pick out a bead to represent each item they listed. For example, a child might choose a red bead to represent a grandmother who likes the color red; or if you have animal shaped beads, the child can use one to represent a pet. The child chooses as many beads as they need to represent all oftheir natural supports.

They could also use alphabet beads to spell out a word that reminds them of someone supportive or of a coping skill that works well for them.

• Have the child create a bracelet or necklace from these beads.

When complete, the child can wear their bracelet/necklace during difficult or celebratory times. For example:

• During a hospitalization

• Preparing for a rite of passage

• Doing a class presentation

Variation

Children enjoy making these for others as well as wearing them. Therefore, children can make these bracelets/necklaces as a way to show support to someone else. Reaching out and helping others can be a soothing activity for children as it gives them a way to help and be in control of the situation (even if it's a small part they can control). Consider helping a child make a bracelet/necklace for a loved one during other times of separation such as business trips, rehab, or heading off to war.

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