Change is a part of life, but for some people any little change can cause distress. Change can be less stressful depending on how it is perceived and managed, so it is important for children to learn how to skillfully manage change.
One way to help children learn effective change management is through minilessons and practice. Whether you have a child with an easygoing temperament or one who is more uptight, practicing change will help him or her become more resilient.
You can practice by providing opportunities for change so your child becomes familiar with the feelings that go along with change. Simply making some small modifications to routines or surroundings during the week can be helpful—changes such as shifting seating assignments at the dinner table or rearranging the furniture in a bedroom. Exposure and adjustment to small changes will help your child prepare for more significant changes later in life.
Thinking about timing is important as you plan your lessons for adjusting to change. Changes should made when times are relatively calm, and they should be prefaced with an explanation: “Let’s switch seats at dinner tonight. It will be fun, and it will also be good practice for changing seats at school. We are going to be change masters!”
Practice with small changes to help your child become skillful in managing change and the stresses involved.
More to consider: Resilience . . .
People who manage change in a skillful manner are better equipped to deal with stress and are, therefore, more likely to be emotionally resilient.