Life is something that is always going to come with its twists and turns, and as parents, navigating these changes alongside our children is a natural part of our role. Whether it’s changing schools, moving to a new place, or any significant life event, we need to ensure that we are able to help them deal with these big changes effectively. Here’s a number of things to consider.
Involve Them, Don’t Seclude Them
A big event like moving home can be incredibly overwhelming for our children. It is going to be a big task for us to try and find a reliable cross country moving company to get us there, as well as plan the packing and setting up our utility bills. But this doesn’t mean that our children need to stand to one side. In fact, we can help them get more involved in the process by asking them to contribute in their own ways. It is something that will help them to feel more emotionally involved, for example, involving your kids in the packing process and asking them to decide what they would like to keep and what they would like to throw away will help in the transition, but also empower them.
Maintain a Routine
Consistency is key for our children, especially during any life change. We have to remember that if our children feel like they are in a sense of flux, we’ve got to provide stability in whatever way we can. Major life events can make them feel like they’re in the center of a storm, and therefore something like a routine can provide that stability and predictability that will potentially mitigate emotional outbursts or stress. We have to remember that children experience stress in a completely different way than adults, and therefore, rather than being emotionally overwhelmed or telling them to go to their room if they approach an outburst, it’s far better to have a routine, but also do the next thing…
Keep Open Communication
This is absolutely pivotal because you need to ensure that your children can express their feelings, concerns, and most importantly, fears about any upcoming changes. If they’re moving to a different school or you are going to a new home, you need to validate their emotions and acknowledge that they are fearful or worried. This can be very difficult when we don’t have much time, but open communication is not just something that we should prioritize during tough times but something we should focus on every single day of our lives.
Highlighting the Positive Aspects
Emphasizing the positive aspects of the change can seem like a fool’s errand, but if we are completely oblivious to the negative aspects, this isn’t helpful. However, we need to remember that in life, operating with a glass half-full mentality is going to result in a far better attitude to life. If our children can look at things more positively, especially when they’re feeling overwhelmed by various changes, this is going to set them up for the future, emotionally and mentally. This also means that we’ve got to be a role model and set the example.
Being a supportive parent during significant life changes involves a swift balance of communication, positivity, routine, and so much more. As a parent, it’s our guidance and support that’s going to make a lasting impact on our children’s ability to thrive in these challenges, and we must remember this.