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August 2021: Transitioning

Updated: Apr 13

August Spotlight Transitioning

As we enter August, many children will be transitioning into or out of Child Lane's programs. With so many changes taking place, children and families alike can become overwhelmed.

To make a transition to or from Child Lane easier, families can help their child take an active part in understanding the changes they experience by doing the following:

  • Visit the library and check out books on:

  • Attending a new school

  • Following the routine of a school day

  • Meeting new friends

  • Meeting new teachers

  • Ask to visit the new campus in advance

  • Talk to your child about some of the new experiences he/she may encounter and the strengths they already have that will help them

  • Allow your child to select some school items and discuss why they are needed

Global View How to Deal with Life Transitions in a Healthy Way

Everyone deals with changes in life. Big or small, transitioning from old to new can be a nerve-wracking process. Here are a few tips to deal with change in a healthy way:

  • Focus on your feelings.

  • Ask yourself why you chose the change or what caused it. Think about the good that will come out of the change.

  • Set realistic goals.

  • Set goals that are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

  • Rely on your support system.

  • Family and friends can provide a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Spend time with loved ones to remember the constants of life.

  • Prepare yourself for the change.

  • Show yourself grace and be patient as the transition takes place.

Message from the Counselor Looking forward to Summer!

I think it’s important to acknowledge that transitions can be hard, especially for young children who lack the experience that adults have. And yet, we often expect children to adjust to the many transitions in their typical day. Even though structure and routines can help children feel safe and secure, they also need additional support and skills. The strategies and tools we use to manage our own transitions are the same ones that can be used to help young children.

Let’s start off by setting realistic expectations - Think about the time you first rode a bike. Was it scary? Did you feel supported? Did you start with training wheels? Many transitions are just plain difficult, and it is important to manage your own expectations about how your child will be able to handle a situation. Just like you wouldn’t learn the skills of your new job in an hour, or relocate your home in an afternoon, it’s unrealistic to expect that children will instantly adapt to a new situation. Children, like adults, experience a whole range of feelings around transitions. Therefore, if a child reacts strongly to a transition it may be because it is a new experience. Take a breath and try to adjust your expectations based on their developmental stage.

Remember to focus on the moment - Respect the present, pay attention to what you are doing now, not what will be next. When we get so busy moving to the other side of a transition (toilet learning, starting school) it’s easy to overlook moments that can ease the process. Whereas if you slow down, observe what your child is experiencing, and react to what you see and hear, you may be able to ease the transition much more peacefully.

Lastly, don’t forget to practice compassion - Be sensitive to what your child is experiencing and remember that children often relate to the world through our own reactions. Sometimes what is most helpful is not for someone to rush to intervene or solve a problem for you, but to show you empathy when something is difficult. Let your child know you understand. “This is really hard. I’m sorry this change is so difficult for you right now.” If your child is having trouble with a transition, practice compassion for yourself and your child.

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