Change, change, it’s the season for change! Well, change is inevitable at any time of the year and in any phase of our life. If you have children, double the amount of change!
Our year is filled with them – September, the holidays, winter break, the return to school in January, spring break, returning after spring break, the end of the school year, and the beginning of summer.
For some children, even daily transitions are difficult to process and are faced with much resistance. So, how do you as a parent help your child with an upcoming change in routine, travel or even the start of a new activity? Anticipate and plan ahead, which will lessen the severity of the change and make it easier to accept.
Keep it the Same… As It’s Becoming Different
When you anticipate an upcoming change, the goal is to either create a routine or maintain it, with little or no deviation. The thought behind this is as a change is coming, the other parts of life stay the same. When you know your child doesn’t readily accept change, you may be very tempted to extend bedtime or to give them an extra dessert because you feel badly about the upcoming change or because a change has happened. But, don’t. This actually creates more anxiety instead of normalizing the change.
With that said, when you are expecting an impending change in your schedule, stick to your routine so that your child can rely on the familiar amidst the unfamiliar. Making a change to your routine takes another element of your child’s life and makes it even rockier. Don’t feel badly and don’t offer too many exceptions to the rules or special treats to make up for a guilty conscience…
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