Help your child ease into new routines by communicating what’s to come
MURRAY, Utah – We all know change can be difficult, but it can be especially challenging for our little ones.
Lisa Newman, a mother of five, is well aware of how the end of summer and beginning of fall impacts her youngest children. She said although they may not be old enough to know exactly what will change in the months ahead, they can sense something is different.
“They sense in the air that something is shifting and changes are happening,” Newman said. “My son Leo, who is 3, has no concept of time and when it is all happening, but he can still feel when change is coming.”
She tries to communicate that schedules and routines will look a lot different by giving her young son as much information as possible.
“I’ve tried to be better about, you know, ‘Here is everything I know about it, and you’re going to love it,’” she said. “It helps him, it’s a smooth transition, and he is ready.”
Communication is key
Amie Andelin, with Early Childhood Consultation at ABC Great Beginnings, believes it is crucial for parents to talk with their children about what’s coming up and how it might not be easy.
“They understand a lot more than sometimes we think they understand,” Andelin said. “Any time that a parent can be there to walk through that process with them, that’s going to help the child develop and process – and be able to become resilient.”
She suggests when talking with your young children about changes to their routine, watch for their reaction in the following days and weeks.
“If a child has a lot more anxiety about it, they might bring it up more often, and then that is going to tell you that you want to communicate with your child more,” she explained.
Andelin said visual reminders can also help them anticipate what’s to come.
“Like on a calendar that they can mark off,” she said. “Maybe like a picture of the school, to say when they’re going back.“
For more ideas and resources on how to get your child talking and communicating, visit 5B45kids.com.
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