Change is often difficult for adults and children. As difficult as change can be, it also provides parents and caregivers an opportunity to be an emotional partner for children and support their resilience. Saying "hello" and "goodbye," switching up a routine, or losing a tooth - all of these events are a chance to understand children's emotional lives.
So how can you support children through change? Start with understanding your own feelings about change. Often how we deal with change impacts how we support our children during change. Be aware of your own feelings and explore the developmentally appropriate tips below:
Infants and Toddlers
- Be mindful of the emotional milestones that children go through (specifically attachment, object permanence, stranger anxiety, and psychological home base). For more on the emotional milestones, click here.
Children this age look at their trusted adults (you) for clues on how to interact or how to respond. Check yourself and your own emotions when responding to change.
Allow children to adjust to new people at their own pace, and also give them preparation ahead of time if possible.
Play peek-a-boo and other "hiding" games.
- Connect to what children already know and are interested in. For example, talk about change during the seasons (temperature, clothing, weather) and ask them to talk about change they have experienced (moving to a new classroom, getting a new sibling, or moving to a new house).
Give children the opportunity to talk about how they feel and help them label their emotions.
Incorporate countdowns/timelines (countdown chains are a great visual).
Allow opportunities for children to role play, write, or draw about change. This gives children the opportunity to prepare, explore their feelings, and ask questions.
- Read books about change (i.e. Say Hello, The Hello, Goodbye Window, or Changes, Changes).
Change can be hard for anyone, but being able to go through changes in the context of a supportive and nurturing relationship builds resilience.
Post by Faosat Adelani, Rachel Dixon, and Jessica Sims (part of the Program Team at our lab school University City Children's Center)
The transition back to school can be tough on all family members. A child’s routine is now discombobulated. Our own routines have been interrupted. What can you do to get everyone back on track? As caregivers and parents, we must be prepared to get back into routines to support our children:
- Reflect on the holidays with your child(ren), "We all had a good time, but now…"
- Re-establish your morning rituals
- Regain bedtime routines
- Revisit regular meal times
- Take a deep breath and know it could take a couple of weeks until everyone is settled
To learn more about how to partner with children during transitions, watch Ms. Peaches Lott in the video below.
Thank you to KPLR 11 News at Noon for the conversation.
The holiday season can be stressful and disrupt normal routines for children. Children need to have a sense of belonging, a feeling of being loved, and appropriate power over their environment. Often while families are in the midst of holiday preparation, children can lose their sense of belonging and search to regain it by acting out. There is no need to start singing, "You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why." Instead here are some simple reminders to help keep the peace and joy during the chaos of the holidays. Families and caregivers can help to support children through the holiday season by:
- Slowing down the pace
- Keeping routines for children
- Sharing family traditions
- Minimizing stress and stressful situations
- Scheduling quiet time to recharge
Happy Holidays from the staff at LUME!
Post by Stephen P. Zwolak
LUME Institute Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week
LUME Institute celebrated National Apprenticeship Week from November 13-19, 2018, by bringing together Apprentices, partners, and community members to share information and perspectives about our Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program.
LUME kicked off the week with a celebration dinner on November 13 for LUME Apprentices and their families at Flance Early Learning Center, which is an Early Childhood Apprentice Employer. During the dinner, we debuted two new videos highlighting the work: one features Apprentice reflections and another provides perspectives from a key Apprenticeship partner, the SIUE East St. Louis Center. The following day, on November 14, LUME hosted an Open House for community members and key workforce development partners at University City Children’s Center, another Early Childhood Apprentice Employer. Open House attendees, including staff from school districts, community-based organizations, workforce development agencies, and more, learned about the Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program from LUME staff members and Apprentices, who were on-hand to share their experiences and answer questions. Finally, on November 15, LUME participated in Saint Louis Public School’s Apprenticeship Experience to introduce the Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program to juniors and seniors at Roosevelt High School.
LUME is grateful to our partners – Flance Early Learning Center, SIUE East St. Louis Center, St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department, the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), and University City Children’s Center – for their ongoing support and commitment to the Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program.