Supporting Children Through Transitions
Transitions can be difficult for anyone, but they can be particularly difficult for children. That’s why it’s important to provide support and understanding as children float through the transitions of their education, relationships, and life changes. Here are some ways to provide support and guidance for children in times of transition:
Encourage Open Discussion & Expression
Encourage your child to express their feelings about the upcoming transition. Generally speaking, children need to know that their feelings are valid and will be listened to. Talk to your child about the transition and listen to what they have to say.
Routines are key to helping children deal with transitions. A daily routine will provide consistency that can be difficult to find during times of change. The routine should include activities like bedtime and meals as well as activities to help children emotionally cope with the transition.
Allow for Grieving
Allow children to grieve the transition. Change can bring about feelings of sadness, loss and even jealousy. Acknowledge these feelings and provide a safe space for your child to heal.
Model how to care for oneself during times of transition. Children learn how to handle difficult and uncomfortable situations by watching those around them. Show children that it’s ok to take breaks and do things that make them feel better such as spending time with friends and family, reading or spending time outdoors.
Be Patient, Flexible and Kind
Most importantly, be patient with your child, flexible with their schedule, and kind to them during transitions. It’s important to give children time to adjust and understand that it will take time for them to do so.
Transitions can be difficult, but it is important to keep in mind that these are opportunities for growth and learning for both the child and the parent. By providing support, guidance, and understanding, children can experience transitions with open arms rather than with anxiety and fear.