Whether it’s transitioning from in-person to online learning, from one school to another, or from one city to another, transitions may prove difficult for children.
Helping your children through transitions involves communication skills as essential as explaining and listening. This may sound simple but it’s actually a complex process that requires all your love and attention.
Talk to your children about the transition before the change takes place. Explain the transition to them using words that are easy to understand, but always talking with the truth. Let them know you respect their intelligence and welcome any questions they may have. Providing advance knowledge is an excellent way to quell fears, and also a good opportunity to model effective, respectful communication.
It takes us time to learn to deal with transitions, so children can react to them in ways that may be difficult for you to understand as an adult. For example, your children may zone out or be irritable without stating (or realizing) that their bad mood is related to transition anxiety. In that case, be patient. Empathize with their stress and frustration and set aside time to talk with them one-on-one about their feelings and fears.
Listening is an incredibly effective communication tool, and this also applies to your interactions with your children. You may have a lot of insights to provide, but before imparting them, make sure to just listen to your children. Give them your undivided attention and listen in a way that is encouraging and nonjudgmental. You love your children and it’s normal to feel sometimes that you know intuitively what they need. However, go out of your way to listen to them and understand where they’re coming from, especially during transitions.
Give them Options
Transition anxiety in children is often related to a sense of lack of control. Offset these negative sensations by giving your children options during the transition process. For example, if they are transitioning to online learning you may let them choose the place where they will study, or the background they will use during their remote lessons. Having options makes children feel empowered and focused. In addition, it’s also a good way to help them build their decision-making skills.