Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

Coping with change: for kids (and their parents!)

Change. It’s a word most people dread hearing and fewer want to experience. My family is currently experiencing several big changes all at once and I’ll be honest – I’m freaked out! These changes directly impact my 5-year-old daughter and I’m mostly worried about how she will handle them.

Coping with change can be hard for kids... and often harder for their parents!

We are in the process of moving and my daughter will be entering a new child care center as well as starting kindergarten in August. While she is outgoing and always seems to adjust well to new situations, I’m worried that the combination of these changes will be overwhelming for her.

Fortunately, I work with a wonderful team of early childhood professionals who have given me some great advice to help my daughter (and me!) through this time. I have been encouraged to focus on what isn’t changing when talking with Maddy. She has asked lots of questions about what we are taking to the new house: Is the dog going? Are her toys going? Will there still be Disney Junior on our television? It is important to reassure her that while we will be in a new house, all of her prized possessions and things she connects with “home” will be going with her.

I have also been encouraged to include her in the process of the change. We have visited her new child care center and the elementary school and she picked out the paint color for her new room (pink – whew!).  Most importantly, I have been encouraged to be positive. Instead of relaying any concerns I might have regarding the changes, I have presented these changes as something exciting and positive that our family will experience together.

Last weekend while Maddy and I were unpacking boxes at the new house she turned to me and excitedly exclaimed, “Momma, I love our new house… it’s just like a dream!” Like most things parents worry and fret about, I am now certain I am more anxious about how Maddy will react than she is actually worried about the changes to come. Thank goodness!

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