Posted in: Blog | November 11, 2021
How To Help A Child Adapt To Change
Change is the one thing you can be sure of in life. We can’t prevent it; the only thing we can do is adapt to it.
This is one important skill that we can teach our children too.
Children deal with different kinds of changes in life. This can be starting school, or a day nursery like Tiny Toes Children’s Day Nursery Cheadle Hulme, near Bramhall, having a different caregiver, changing schools, moving to a new area, or even having a new sibling.
Adaptability reduces stress on babies because they are able to quickly adjust to the new environment, routine, or activity. Today, we’re going to look at how you can help a child adapt to change.
Let them know about the change in advance
When a child knows that they are about to have a new sibling, move to a new location, or go through any other kind of change, they’re able to prepare for it as opposed to when they’re ambushed and expected to adjust in time. For example, if a child is meant to start school or go into a different childcare setting, you can inform them about it a few weeks prior.
Find out how a child feels about that change
Now that your child knows what is about to happen, it’s important to find out the emotions they have around it. You can do this by asking them directly or monitoring their actions.
If they’re unable to articulate their feelings, you can help them for example by asking if they are sad, angry, happy, and they’ll be able to pick an emotion they identify with.
You can also tell them how you feel about the change, and this will help them connect to you.
Don’t change everything at once
If your child is already going through a major change, it’s not the best time to destabilise them further. Try to keep some things the same.
Let’s say you always read them a storybook before they sleep, continue doing that. If you’ve been picking them up from a nursery, don’t send someone else to do that.
This is helpful because children need consistency and stability to make them feel safe.
Practice more patience
A child may not be able to adapt immediately to the change and this is ok.
According to psychology, children process information differently from adults and they do not have the same level of experience that we do that they can refer to and know that everything will be ok.
This is something that our early years teachers at Tiny Toes Children’s Day Nursery Cheadle Hulme, near Bramhall understand since childcare is our core business. We are patient with our children whether they’re in the Tiny Toes Preschool level or the younger babies.
Review things after the change
Let’s say the change went smoothly and after a while, the child loved it or had some good results, it’s important to talk to them about it.
When you help them see that everything turned out well at the end (for example they made new friends, because of moving to a new school), this will make it easier for them to be more comfortable with other changes in the future – as you are creating positive associations.
You can’t avoid change, that’s out of your control. However, when you help a child know how to adapt to change, they will be handling stress better and cope when life takes a different turn.