Teaching Kids How to Say Goodbye

saying goodbyeA friend visited from India last week. My kids were excited that he was coming and brimming over with stories to tell him, things to show him, and ideas of things to do together. We spent a day at a national park and had a great visit. But, as time often tends to do, it flew by. Every day I heard from one or the other kids, “I wish he was staying longer.”

On the last day of his visit, my youngest – who probably didn’t even remember him from when we lives in India – was nigh distraught. “I don’t want him to leave, because I love him,” he told me a couple of times.

When we dropped him off at the bus station, again as Aiden waved goodbye through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, he turned to me. “I don’t want him to leave, because I love him.”

Saying goodbye. I think it is a relatively new thing for the kids, although the older two are a bit more familiar with it, as they remember moving to California from India. I’ve moved over 20 times in my life. Across state lines. Across nations. Across seas.

I’ve said a lot of goodbyes, some more poignant than others. Some for the last time while in this world. Some with the hope of seeing loved ones again. Others with that inner hint that I won’t, at least for a very long time.

But how do you pass all that on to your children, especially the ones that seem almost too young to grasp concepts that can’t easily be explained? How do you explain to them the importance of living in the present, being thankful for every moment, yet not living for today?

Living for the hope of tomorrow. Of eternity.

Last night again, as I kissed the kids good night, my youngest expressed his sadness in having to say goodbye. “When you’re sad,” I told him, “you can remember the fun times you had and you can also pray for the people you remember.” He asked for a story instead. I’m not sure how deeply my advice went.

But they will face more goodbyes. Some more poignant than others. Yet there is joy, hope, and purpose … in every day and in every circumstance. I’m still working towards that understanding. And if I can help my children understand it as well – or at least work towards it – even goodbyes won’t be so bad.


About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry https://danielandbonita.wordpress.com Writing https://awordfitlywritten.wordpress.com Parenting https://positiveparentingblog.wordpress.com Purpose https://apurposedlife.wordpress.com After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaJewelAuthor

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Life Lessons and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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