Dealing with Change
As we approach the end of the term and think about new classes and secondary school, discover how we can help our children cope with change.
Changes in a Child's Life
Children cope with change in different ways. Some children are resilient in the face of new situations whilst others find it harder to cope. Changes that might seem small to us can really throw a child off balance. Changes in a child's life can include:
- A new sibling
- Moving house
- Starting a new club
- Starting a new school
- Joining a new class
- A bereavement in the family
- Parents separating
CBeebies Helping Children Deal with Change explains why children can find change so difficult:
According to Child Psychologist, Laverne Antrobus, routine is important to children because they crave safety and security, so knowing that things are going to happen in a particular way makes them feel in control.
As adults, we can deal with change better because we can anticipate what that change will be like by finding out everything we want to know about it beforehand, and by using our previous experiences to imagine what it will be like.
Small children often don’t have the language and understanding to help them anticipate what the change will be like and only have very limited experiences to refer to, so even what seem like very small changes can turn their world upside-down.
How we can help children cope with change
CBeebies Helping Children Deal with Change advises that parents:
- Keep routines
- Stay calm and consistent
- Keep talking
- Be prepared
The Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families suggests these 10 top tips aimed at parents to provide a starting point for helping children struggling with a change in their life:
You can access a PDF cope of this leaflet by clicking here.
Where else to go for support
If you have any concerns about your child/ren's mental health, you can get more information and advice by visiting chums.uk.com, the Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service for Children and Young People.
You can also contact your child's class teacher to raise any mental health and well-being concerns by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, using the website contact form, or emailing your child's year group (all the year group emails are listed here).
If you are concerned about your own mental health and well-being, you can read more about how to access further advice and support by clicking here to visit Mind's website.
Mind states that despite the pandemic, the NHS is still encouraging people to come forward for support with mental health and well-being, with the GP cited as the first port of call.