Transitions can be difficult for children, whether they involve end-of-summer issues, the beginning of a new school year, or changes in the family situation.
Here are some tips to help children move more easily through transitions:
First, let your child know that a change is coming. If there is a family calendar, mark the event. Help the child enjoy the steps leading to it.
If pleasant memories can be associated with the change—such as shopping, going out for ice cream, or going to one last fair or festival, it makes the transition easier for a child.
Respect the fact that your child may need time to express and work through feelings.
Listen to what is important to your child. Maybe it’s special time to play with a friend or visit a relative.
Whether the transition involves a new schedule, a new sibling, or an older sibling going off to college, change can create anxiety and insecurity.
Listen for the source and try to face it positively without denying your child’s fears. Reassuring your child won’t take away all the feelings of uncertainty, but it can plant a seed of hope.
Transitions are a part of life. The better we can understand the responses to change, the better able we are to help our children deal with them.