Helping Children Cope With Change
Learning how to cope with change is a skill that your children can take with them throughout their life. To cope with the ups and downs of life, they need to develop resilience. Resilience is the psychological strength to cope with stress and hardship. In turn, this can make your child feel better about themselves, have the ability to focus, have good social skills, and feel a sense of independence. The best way to teach your kids how to develop resilience is to set a good example and be their guide as a parent. Here are a few ways of helping children cope with change.
Bond with your children and be a role model
Building a close relationship with your children and being open with them about your feelings is important. Children feel more secure when they know they have a parent to turn to. Reassure your children that they can always count on you and their family for support and understanding no matter what happens. If you show trust and openness to them, they will feel more secure about returning it. Also, being a good role model is essential because nothing you say is as important as what your children see you do. If you have an optimistic attitude and maintain self-control during stressful times, they will follow you and do the same.
Children love to follow a routine. Anything away from that makes them feel uncomfortable and stressed. They feel secure when they know what to expect from the day or what they must do next. They like to know how their parents will behave or react and what will happen during the day. So, if your child is undergoing a period of change, try to keep most of your child’s routine the same to create a sense of normalcy and stability
Young children don’t understand the concept of time, so you will want to teach them some simple strategies to measure time. You can use alarm clocks for activity transitions, clean-up times, and morning routines. Let your kids place a calendar somewhere and help them keep track of special events like birthdays, holidays, and vacations. Warn your kids verbally or set countdowns for when they must leave something they enjoy.
Prepare children for what may happen and be honest
Voice your plans in a reassuring tone helps infants and toddlers who can’t speak. Older kids like to be told what they need to do for the day or what they can expect. Explain where you will be going or what may happen along the way. This makes them feel prepared well before and ready for the change. Don’t forget to answer their questions and tell them the truth to develop more trust. When a sad or tragic event occurs, you need to be honest with your children and explain things so they can understand. Listen to your children and look for their reactions. Don’t impose your view of the situation but see how they perceive the change. Let them grieve or mourn if it’s a loss affecting them. That’s another way of helping children cope with change. At such times, children need the assurance and closeness from their parents, so be there for them.
Let them explore and discover
As parents, encourage your children to explore and try out different activities and interests. This will help children cope with the change that would come in their life. When they go through various experiences and situations, it provides a fundamental base that prepares them for change. When helping kids with change, you need to be prepared for the sad times. It’s all part of the process, and remember, it can take your children time to adjust, so remain calm. Accept your children for who they are.