Have you ever had difficulty transitioning your child from one activity to the next?
The Struggle of Transitioning Children
It is not uncommon for children to struggle with transitions. One benefit of a summer camp is that children learn strategies to deal with transitions. Kids participate in routines that seamlessly transition them from one fun activity to the next.
Try these 5 simple transition tips gleaned from a summer camp experience:
1. Be proactive
If you know that a transition is coming, it is helpful to be proactive and help prepare your child.
At camp, for instance, counselors would know ahead of time when certain activities are close to ending.
As a result, there would be a plan to wind down which would include letting the campers know that they are almost finished.
2. Make it visual
One simple way to help prepare children for transitions is to utilize visual reminders.
The use of a visual timer or even simply writing a 5-minute warning on a white board is very helpful to prepare kids for the pending change in activity.
3. Talk to the child
While this seems like such a simple step, it is often overlooked. Talk to your children and let them know about the upcoming transition.
This potentially helps them reframe their mindset from fearing a transition to viewing it as an opportunity.
4. Give choices
Most of the fear of transitions stems from feeling out of control of the situation. The uncertainty often leads to anxiety and a fear of change.
One way to overcome the feeling of losing control is to give your child choices. Be sure that both of the choices you give are acceptable outcomes.
Giving two options, both of which are appropriate responses, allows some sense of control over a situation that seems uncertain.
5. Break things into steps
Transitions are scary because they are all encompassing when they are looming in our minds.
Children attempt to make sense of what may or may not happen. They get overwhelmed imagining all of the different scenarios.
Helping kids to visualize, step-by-step, what the new scenario will look and feel like, helps them let go of that nerve-wracking feeling of trying to figure it all out.
Camp activities are highly structured learning activities that are both fun and personally rewarding. Transitions are a part of the daily routine.
It is important to encourage our children to be flexible thinkers. These are essential executive functions that they will need to be successful – in school and in life.
Easing transitions for your child can be accomplished with some preparation and planning. We all know that the unknown and unexpected can be scary.
However, by utilizing these tips, you will be able to help your children successfully navigate transitions.
Laurie McLean is a Mom blogger, special needs parent, coffee fiend, dog lover, and recovering perfectionist interested in balance, humor and self-care. She helps women learn to give themselves grace while they simplify their lives and make the most of their motherhood journey, no matter what unexpected things may come their way. She also provides resources, camaraderie and connection for special needs parents from someone who “gets it”. Check out her blog by Clicking Here!