Friday, August 15, 2014

Transition Time! Tips for Parents & Caregivers

School will soon to be in session; fall schedules are ramping up. Now is the time to help your young ones adjust to all the new events that will be happening in their daily lives! Below you will find a few tips to help you through times when it just seems as though your children (and you!) have had enough of all the change that is taking place.
 
Talk, talk, and more talk
Talking about the changes that are taking place can help children of all ages cope. Although they may not respond right away or may not seem to understand at times, inviting the discussion opens the door to understanding and developing coping skills.  You might engage them in a conversation by sharing how you feel about the changes or asking questions that allow your child to express his or her feelings.

Sometimes it is all in the details
Helping children to understand what may or may not happen is no small task—especially if there are any unknown circumstances that could arise. Do your best to articulate details of the changes that are to take place without being overly wordy.

When things don’t go as we planned
Statements that express that sometimes things just do not go as we planned, yet we can adjust, can have a profound impact in helping them reduce or prevent stress. Simple statements like this can help children to develop resiliency skills! Remember, they watch our reactions.  Children take cues from us on how to respond to all situations—especially those that might cause stress. 

Whether it is a schedule change or a bigger life change, change is definitely consistent in our lives. When children work through transitions with a caring adult, it can make a big difference in how they adjust.

References:
Jett, C. (2010). Teaching Children How to Adapt, Psych Central.
Kids Have Stress Too! Ideas, Tips, and Strategies for Parents, www.psychologyfoundation.org