Distance & Closing the Gap

Distance isn’t a category you’d usually associate with DNA keepsakes but let me explain why it’s one we felt was an important one to acknowledge.

Distance brings with it an emotion, sometimes joy and excitement like the feeling you get when being away on holidays. Experiencing something new and making memories with those we love. Taking photos to recall the time you climbed that mountain or scuba dived in the most beautiful crystal clear waters with wildlife you’d not otherwise get to encounter up close in any other way or maybe even a honeymoon. These moments of being separated from loved ones are the best of reasons.

There are also the times where separation and distance fills us with sadness, anxiety and other negative emotions that we struggle with as adults such as the loss of a loved one or even a pet. The loss of a friendship or relationship.

Now take a moment to think about these from a child's point of view. A family breakdown where now each parent has their own house and time is spent with 1 parent at a time leaving the child missing the other parent. Sadly, all too often family breakdowns can leave a child torn and confused about missing the other parent when not with them. This is why we developed our Children’s Anxiety Bead, to help children cope with the times that being separated from a parent is required. Some children suffer from anxiety due to domestic violence situations and other damaging experiences that leaves them attached to 1 person (usually a parent). This can affect everyday life in many ways one being struggling at school and refusal to go, bad behavior whilst there and many more.

As an ex military wife and ADF member myself i know all too well the issues surrounding having children while a parent is away on training or on overseas deployment. The time frames for these can range from 3 weeks to 9-12 months at a time.

My own children struggled on big occasions such as father's day breakfasts run by the school, daddy/daughter dances, and other occasions where they would get worked up and upset that all of their friends had dad’s that did xyz and attended all of the things created to celebrate dad’s and that it wasn’t fair that their own dad couldn’t come. From a child’s point of view they don’t understand the bigger picture or just how special what their dads’ absence actually meant for our country as a whole and even if they had, they wouldn't have cared, they just wanted to show off that they had a dad. I once had my children’s school call me and ask if police would be required as a stranger to the staff of the school had noticed a man talking to my kids and what looked like his attempt to coax them into his vehicle. It was my husband. He had been away for 8 months and so had not been seen by the school ever before this day. That gives you an idea of just how long defence personnel are away from their families.

Our Children’s Anxiety beads are made with the hair of a military parent, separated parent, pet fur of a pet that’s no longer here or a combination of these. Along with our Children’s Anxiety Beads is a certificate personalised to that child and their situation that explains in their language, the magic that their bead holds and how whenever they feel anxious that they can rub their bead and know that the person/people’s hair it contains is right there with them.

The comfort something like this gives a child is unbelievable. I’ve had to make some for my own kids as they struggled at one time or another and I was so grateful to know that I could help ease their fears and worries in this way that I'd never have thought of before starting Today Tomorrow & Always.

How many occasions can you think of where having a literal part of a loved one would have comforted you throughout your life or do you know a child suffering from anxiety that this could help?

Blog By:

Allison Ockenden

Today Tomorrow & Always


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