Yesterday was a very special day. In my previous post I shared with you my granddaughter’s very special second birthday moment.
But what was I doing earlier on in the day?
Well, I was helping a very lovely client find closure for her daughter through the power and play of puppets.
Like a few of my clients, this lovely lady and her family had decided to uproot and move her family to Switzerland. She had called me and asked me to perform a puppet show for a goodbye party where her daughter had the opportunity to say goodbye to her school friends and have fun at the same time. Could I perhaps include references to saying Goodbye in my show?
I considered it for a brief second and my answer was ‘of course!’
With my 20 years of working with children as a children’s entertainer, I’ve encountered many a child who has trouble with saying goodbye. Goodbye is hard for the adults, so why shouldn’t we expect children to be upset at the prospect of saying farewell?
I’ve had my fair share of tears after a puppet show where children have burst into tears the minute a puppet show has ended .
The reason? They didn’t want me to go, they didn’t want the fun to end and most importantly, they didn’t want to say goodbye.
My own way of dealing with this outburst is to gently reassure the distressed child that you have to say goodbye otherwise you can’t say hello another time, and hello is the most wonderful, exciting thing to say!
Ending with a ‘ See you later Alligator , in a while Crocodile , (Bye Bye Apple Pie!) ( Fifi the Fairy’s own invention) is a sure fire way of using the power of silly to put the smile back on those tear stained faces too.
So I tootled off to Belsize Park yesterday and set up my puppet theatre outside in the very welcome sunshine. ( It made a brief appearance yesterday, we just had to make the most of it before it rains again).
Bobby Bunny was sad that Tabitha cat was going to Australia and had lost his will to hop. The children were encouraging him to hop and have fun and reassured him that Tabitha would still be his friend even though she was going to Australia.
In between the silly behind-you’s and the silly slapstick humour and chases, I inserted lots of chat and references about using Mummy and Daddy’s Internet to keep in touch and spoke about having friends to visit. Rather than focusing on the leaving aspect, I stressed the new adventures ahead. Tabitha cat was excited to be going, it was her friend that was sad. This allowed the little girl in question to be able to chat to the rabbit about her leaving in a safe and reassuring way; indeed it was a little bit of a therapy session without anyone even knowing it! Lots of hugs were given to the girl in question from the puppets and she said goodbye with a smile on her face- which was painted just like my lovely puppy puppet Toby
Traditional Toby dog to start the show
So bye bye lovely Taya, we will miss you here at Diane’s Puppets. Don’t forget to send us a postcard from Zurich ( some chocolate would be nice too! ) Only joking. Silly Sausage.
Let’s hope that fun and laughter and puppets have eased the pain of farewell.
The power of puppets never cease to amaze me.
The Power of Puppets for Change
Silly is a Serious Business
Puppets: An Emotional Connection