Supporting your child through transitions

Tips for supporting children with transitions.

In Early Years the word “transition” is used to describe a period of change in a child’s life – common transitions experienced by children are:

  • Starting Nursery/School
  • Moving rooms in Nursery/Changing class
  • Moving house
  • Getting a new sibling
  • Going on holiday
  • Going into hospital/Suffering an illness
  • Toilet training
  • Parents separating
  • Death of a loved one

Even small things such as the introduction of a family dog, or switching a child’s bedroom can be a big change for a little person.

As adults we can underestimate these changes and become frustrated with the number of questions a child asks, or if a younger or non-verbal child seeks extra reassurance.

5 Top Tips for supporting children through a transition…

  1. Answer EVERY question truthfully. If you do not know the answer, say that. Repeated questions from your child can be annoying but rather than ask them to stop try and get to the root of the question so they have an answer. Sometimes creating a scrap book or picture of answers can help.
  2. Acknowledge the change for your child, do not disregard it. Speak about it as positivity as you can, explain why the change is needed.
  3. Encourage your child to share their emotions. Chat about what they are excited or worried about. Use picture cards or emojis to point out how they are feeling about the change.
  4. Communicate with other people who also care for your child to ensure they can be prepared to help by answering questions and offer extra reassurance.
  5. Look out for signs that your child is not coping with the change; bedwetting or regression in toilet training, changes in behaviour, difficulty sleeping and changes to  eating patterns are all signs that your child might need a little extra reassurance to cope with the change.