At a point in our lives, we experience change, whether starting a new job, moving house, or even our young people starting school. We are all aware of the feelings experienced when we view change.
We anticipate, become curious, and excited. But, unfortunately, these feelings can be tainted by anxiety, uncertainty, fear, and a sense of confusion, not knowing as we are faced with unfamiliar places, people, and experiences.
Generally, we are plagued with conflicting emotions especially at the start of something new, we become needlessly anxious in a bid to make an unforgettable first impression.
These feelings don’t just affect adults only; children and young people also experience this. So the
question is, “will they be able to cope, or whether their resilience will help them manage and move from one transition to another?
What is the transition, and how it affects children?
Transition is a period where one experiences change, moving from one form to another. These changes always happen at some point in our lives, such as having a new baby, moving from breast milk to complementary feeding, crawling, walking, toilet training, and eventually going to nursery.
Different transitions can affect a child’s development; the physical, emotional, intellectual, and physiological transitions. These changes can occur when a child experiences growth, which can affect a child’s behaviour.
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
– William James.
Let’s look at some of the behavioural changes a child might experience:-
- Becoming withdrawn
- Being anxious
- Being argumentative with parents, etc.
These behaviours might affect a child’s concentration in studies, parents might find it challenging to deal with such.
In this context, we will be focusing on physical transition. What are those physical transitions –
examples are moving house, class, or school. Some toddlers leave their parents for the first time to start nursery; others move from nursery to primary and even secondary school.
What level of physical transition are you and your little one experiencing at the moment?
As I write, I am equally plagued with uncertainties as my child is moving from nursery to primary school. I have mixed feelings; I feel excited that my little one is going to a big school. But at the same time, I feel worried and ask myself, how is my daughter going to cope with the new environment and make new friends.
Effective ways to support your children during back to school transition
This brings us to look at some of the effective ways to support your children during this transition:-
Every child is different, so as their individual needs. What works for me might be different from you but identifying the approach to use is vital.
Identify in time forthcoming transition
Recognise the fundamental changes, talk about the positive things about going into a new class or school, reassure them. Talk about the unique setting, when they will be more learning resources available, and meeting new people who will be happy to meet them.
Build a trusting relationship
Ask them how they feel about going to a new school. Explain that apart from transition causing anxiety and worry, it can also bring new, exciting opportunities to learn new things. Connect more with your children by spending quality time and being open-minded with them. Be open and honest when communicating with your child; this will help them build trust and confidence in themselves. For instance, my child says to me, mummy, I will not talk to anybody when I get to big school. I am scared; I don’t know them. I explained to her that it is natural to feel anxious and nervous when you meet new people for the first time; even grown-ups think the same. Still, to conquer it is first saying Hello to the new friend that way, you get to talk and play with them.
Read exciting books
Read books about moving schools; this will help them understand what they expect. Learn about things or subjects that they will be taught to help them become familiar with the new environment.
Create a routine
Be consistent when having a pattern; this will help your children be more organised when they get to school. Set a time for everything, for example, in my house, we woke up, pray, brush teeth, have breakfast, and talk about the things that need doing during the day; once it is 8.00 p.m we are ready for bed. My kids have now got used to this pattern, that I no longer nag them about the bedtime routine.
Get their attention
I have a “no television day rule” in my house. I observed my children keep zoning out and no longer concentrate when studying. So I started by reducing the screen time and got them more involved in activities I have set for them for the day. We engaged in more fun games like puzzles, stacking blocks, and reading interesting books. This will build your child’s confidence and help them develop the ability to concentrate while in new school.
Use reward system
Encourage good behaviour at the time. We have a poster where we stick stickers as reward points for doing all the assigned tasks in my house. Give praises when they accomplish a little thing; this will motivate them to always learn more. For instance, my three- year-old scribbles but recently became interested in writing letters instead. When he wrote “A” on his paper without help, we clapped and gave him a sticker. He was very excited and was eager to learn
Train your child to be able to do some basic things for themselves. For example, tie their shoelaces, dress, undress, go to the toilet, and do personal hygiene. Give your child some responsibilities at home, avoid doing everything for them, let them learn to be reliable on themselves. For instance, tidying their beds, toys, putting shoes in the proper shoe racks, and wiping the table after eating. These things will help them be confident and rely on themselves when their
parents are not with them.
Feeling heard and understood allows children to release the feelings, let go and move on.
Listen to your child
Talk about their fears and worries. Reassure them and use positive words. For example, I always speak positive affirmations to my daughter. Words like “ I believe in you, I know you will achieve great things if you work hard and put your mind in whatever you want to achieve. It might take a little bit of time to achieve it, do not worry, you will get there” express their feelings.
In conclusion, transitions elicits different emotions, sometimes turbulent and other times, it’s seamless but in all, there can be no life without change and to be afraid of what is different or unfamiliar to be afraid of life.
If you find these tips helpful, please like or leave us a comment.😊
You can also find helpful, more post on parenting https://desplendour.com/the-early-footsteps/