Transitions with young children

Parenting Blog

September 20, 2016

Transitions with young children

Transitions. Passages. Good-bye and hello. How do we negotiate them with young children? Begin with the awareness that they can be difficult. Rather than denying the challenge, plan for success beginning with mornings, for example.

In the morning, we transition from sleep to wakefulness, from the comfort of our cozy beds to the larger room, from stillness to activity. First of all, give yourself enough time to avoid rushing, but not too much. Keep the focus singular so you don't have to add additional transitions as in into and out of playtime.

Use the concept of framing in order to plan. Knowing what time you need to leave the house, work backwards to decide what time you need to wake up. Anything you can prepare the night before, i.e. backpacks or lunches, clothes, even setting the breakfast table can help keep the morning on course.

Seasonal changes affect us as well as daily ones. With young children at the Rose Garden, we acknowledge the seasons artistically through music, indoor nature displays and activities. Honoring the seasonal transitions provides a way to meet and celebrate what is. We cannot change the earth's annual revolution around the sun, we cannot change the earth's daily rotation on its axis, nor would we want to. These are the givens we work with.

Summer turns to fall. night turns to day. The question is not if transitions happen, they do, so the question is how do we meet them.

Be prepared. Be patient. Persist; what is now difficult will get easier with practice.

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