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Wellbeing Wednesday - Preparing for Change

22 Jun 2022

Wellbeing Wednesday
Preparing for Change - Transitions

It is that time of the school year when we start thinking about moving on, adapting to change and transitions. Whether it is to a new class with new friends and a new teacher or a new school - change can be overwhelming and challenging.

We work hard all year to equip children with the resilience required to accept change, move forwards and progress through their educational journey and there are lovely events that signpost the end of the year - including sports day and the end of year shows. It is really important that children keep talking about change and what it means to them, how it makes them feel and what they are expecting so that we can support and talk through any worries or anxiety.

Structure and stability feel safe for children, so new experiences can be scary. As we face change, we develop the skills of resilience. By navigating and growing from these experiences, we strengthen and train our 'resilience muscles'. Remember that children feel our emotions, so start by acknowledging and regulating your own feelings about the change.

Once you're ready to guide your child through this time of transition, try the strategies below. These strategies will help your child feel safe, adjust and build resilience.

1. Give them time to prepare

When preparation is an option, give your child plenty of advance warning that a major change is coming. This allows them time to process and begin to accept the change.

2. Listen to their concerns

Take time to address your child's questions and concerns. Help them work through the emotions that they are feeling. If they are struggling to name what they are feeling, help them label the emotion e.g. anxious, sad, nervous, worried or scared.

3. Keep routines the same

Give your child as much consistency and stability as possible. Bedtimes and mealtimes in particular should remain consistent. Structure feels safe for children, so provide as much of it as possible to restore a sense of safety.

4. Provide connection and play

Remain consistent in your child's connection with you. Make sure your child knows that no matter what else changes, you are not going anywhere and neither is the bond you have with your child.

5. Give them choices

During a big life change, some children can feel out of control. Give some sense of agency by allowing your child to make small choices - what colour do they want to paint their bedroom, what should you cook for supper on their first day of school, what do they want to wear on their first day of school?

6. Talk about other changes

Talk about things they have successfully coped with in the past - this will help them hook on to something that was positive but unknown at first.

As always, please reach out if you need further support. I have put a link below to a more visual set of tips for parents.

Best wishes, 

Mrs Getty


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