• Have a discussion with the child about coping skills they use that have worked.

• Have the child pick out the color cards they would like—they will need one card per coping skill.

• Write down a coping skill on each card.

• Have the child decorate their cards.

• Punch a hole in the upper left corner of each card.

• Attach the cards to the key ring, or tie them together with a loop of string. You can thread beads onto the string if desired.

Now the child can carry these portable reminders with them easily. Many of the children I work with have kept these in a small pocket of their backpacks at school. Some children have made more than one set so they can have one at a parent's house and one at school. These cards can be kept as discreet or "out in the open" as the child wants. Younger children tend to flaunt them whereas older children usually choose to keep them private.


Children can make these bracelets and necklaces as a reminder of people who care about them and support them, as well as passions and interests that sustain them. They are handy for those difficult moments when the child needs support but has to move forward on his or her own (e.g. first day of school) They are also handy for celebrating a rite of passage, especially if the child is struggling with separartion and anxiety.

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