August 30, 2011
Here are some tips to help your kids handle change - courtesy of parenting experts Alyson Schafer and Jennifer Kolari
- Keep the communication flowing between you and your children - make sure they know what is happening and what is going to happen.
- Give your kids and yourself plenty of time to absorb and handle the change – don’t hope to avoid conflict by springing a change of plans at the last minute.
- Write a weekly schedule on a white board - putting all the usual things in one colour and all the unusual events in a different colour.
- When they're a little older, give them a bit of control over the things that have to get done - negotiate a little.
- Give your kids a 15-minute window to change tasks, say from playing a video game to having dinner; and check on them when there's 2-3 mins. to go.
- Encourage them to take age-appropriate risks.
- Compliment them when they succeed at trying something that scared them and point out how well they handled it.
- Listen to their fears and acknowledge them, don't just cheerlead them with, "Oh, it'll be fine."
- How you handle change will be reflected in how they handle change.
- Seek help if your children start missing out on opportunities because of their fears.
- The key is to help children build their courage, find the confidence to take risk, or manage change.
Watch Alyson and Jennifer in conversation with Cheryl.