The Way a 'Hug Button' Helped This Nervous Boy Proves Why It's the Best Mom Hack


Louise Mallett/Facebook

Whether your little ones are anxious for their first day of school or just about being left alone for a playdate, their nerves can be hard to see -- especially when you know you won't be there to help them if they need it. Even though it can be difficult, stepping back and letting them have these learning moments is important in helping them grow and gain independence -- no matter how difficult it seems at the time. Luckily, one mom figured out a way to be by her boy's side when it feels like he needs her the most in order to help ease his fears -- without actually being there.

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Before Louise Mallett's youngest child, Max, left for his first full day of school, this mom from England worried about how he would do. "I could tell he was feeling a little emotional this morning so we had a chat and came up with the idea of having a heart each and if we pressed it, it sent a hug to the other one (he said he cried as he missed me on his first half day last week)," she wrote on Facebook. "I drew a heart on both our hands and gave him a spare one on his arm in case the one on his hand wore off, we 'charged' them by holding hands on the way to school."

heart drawn on hand
Louise Mallett/Facebook

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When Louise went to pick Max up at the end of the day, she asked if his hug button worked, and to her surprise, Max happily said that it did. "He also said, 'I pressed it for a long time mommy but I didn't cry.' So I said, 'Ahhhh that will be that big squeeze I got, did you get my big squeeze back?' and he said, 'Yep!'" she wrote. "Bless him, here's to many more happy days at school while I sit at home with the dog and cry that all my babies are at school now." 

Since she first shared it on social media, Louise's idea has gone viral, with parents across the Internet taking note of this mom's simple yet effective way to help ease her child's fears. According to Psychology Today, anxiety is common in school-aged children, with 10-20 percent of them dealing with symptoms. And it appears that Louise's "hug button" helps her son cope with those fears in the perfect way. Instead of brushing over his concerns and telling Max that everything would be fine, Louise acknowledged his fears while also encouraging him to face them, without setting up an expectation for perfect results. The "hug button" lets him know that he has his mom's support to do it on his own, but if things get scary and he needs some backup, her love is right there for him.

Even though the button didn't keep Louise from sobbing after she left and it only helped Max, everyone can agree that one Mallett in tears over school is much better than two!

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