The “Save For Later” Box
Sometimes our kids get fixated on something that simply cannot be addressed at the present time.
For example, a 12 year old that is worried about what will happen when she goes to college is stuck on something that cannot be addressed effectively for a number of years but she cannot move on until it is somehow addressed.
A child who is stuck on wanting to go to the store to find more of his favorite pants cannot move on until that is addressed.
In those times, we recommend using a “Save For Later” box.
Find a box that will be your “save for later” box. It can be whatever size you want it to be, but preferably small enough to sit on the counter or on the child’s dresser or desk.
You or the child can decorate it any way you like. It can have a slot in the top or just be able to open and close it so you can put slips of paper in it.
When the child gets fixated on something, you can remind them that you are not trying to blow them off or get them to forget about the topic, but that it is something that just can’t be addressed right now so in order to be able to “put it to bed”, you will put it in the “save for later” box. Either you or the child can write the item on the slip of paper and put it in the box. Then when they try to bring it up again later you can simply say “that is in our save for later box so it is safe” and declare the topic closed for now.
Sometimes simply the act of putting it in the box helps the child move past it and they never choose to go back to it. In some cases, you may need to set a specific time frame when you will open the box, see what is in there and either address what can be addressed or return it to the box if it is still “down the road”.