29 Jul Helping Your Child Cope with Change
Change, big or small, is a part of life.
Trying to cope with change can be hard on anyone, and it can be especially hard for children in their early childhood years. The many changes that our little ones experience in their growing process is rapid. As they develop, they encounter new experiences such as settling into a new environment (e.g. starting school), building new relationships, learning new life skills and more. Though exciting, these can also bring about moments of anxiety, confusion and stress.
As a parent, you may wonder what you can do for your child in these moments.
Talk (and listen) with your child
While juggling parental duties with work in our busy daily lives, we can easily neglect the communication needs of our children and overlook this seemingly simple task. Make it a point to take some time and talk to your child every day without any distractions near you. This includes keeping away your mobile devices and gadgets, not attending to work or multitasking. Encourage your child to share with you what they are struggling with. Even if you are not able to offer any advice, your child will be comforted by your presence and attention.
Share your experience
Share with your child how you coped with similar situations in the past or how you might cope with a similar situation. Let your child know that what they are going through is common and they are not the only ones facing such a change. This will help your child realise that challenges can be overcome.
Pre-empt your child
With your experience, you can also inform your child of the changes that you have went through before and let them know it may occur in their lives too. This way, they will be better prepared mentally for what is coming.
Empower your child to choose
Let your child know that not everything is out of their control and that they, too, can make decisions of their own in many other aspects of their lives. Whenever possible, offer them the chance to make their own choices. For example, simple decisions such as the clothes that they wish to wear for the day or the place they wish to visit during the weekends can go a long way in boosting their confidence. This in turn reduces their feelings of helplessness and be more receptive when changes occur.
Change is inevitable and our children’s growth is a beautiful process that we should embrace! With our help, our children can learn how to trust the process of change and develop confidence as they continue to explore and interact with the world around them.
Contact an M.Y World centre near you to find out how we partner with parents to nurture our children to be resilient individuals as they learn to navigate the many challenges in life.