Tips for coping in Transition

Mrs Erin McKerral - School Counsellor

Tips for Coping with all the Changes...

As the restrictions begin to lift in some areas of life, and we as a community slowly begin to move towards what we know to be normal, it is another change and another period of transition where we don’t have all the answers. And with all transition, whether welcome or not, it is another juggle and another opportunity to feel overwhelmed and out of control. 

Below are some tips for coping with this period of transition that can hopefully provide you and your family with some strategies to feel a little more grounded during this time.

Change doesn’t have to feel out of control...

The very act of accepting that things have to and will change can in itself give us a feeling of order. For young people, validating that things have changed, it’s been hard, and they have made it this far, will help them to feel a little more capable for the coming weeks. 

It can also help to be honest that there is more change to come and there may be hard parts to that. 

Remember together the times you’ve experienced change in the past (birth of a sibling, gaining/losing a pet, moving house). How did you ‘survive’ this time?

 

 1-minute conversation is better than none…

 

Talking with your children about what is coming up the next day can be a really important way for them to prepare for what's to come. Even if it is the same as the day before, try to take a minute to talk through what each member in the household is doing (you can even include animals to make it a bit fun).

  • What is happening today?

  • What is different today?

  • What is ‘normal’ today?

  • What do I do if something unexpected happens?

Some examples of responses if your child is struggling to find an answer: Stop and take a deep breath, ask someone for help (teachers or staff members if it’s at school), remember what I know! (sometimes our logic can get lost when we feel a little stressed).

 


Be in the present...

 

One of the beneficial things about this time has been increased opportunities to be in the present both individually and as a family unit. Looking too far into the future, especially with changes happening every day, can be overwhelming and derail us from staying calm.

You can help your child to stay present by checking in with them regularly.

  • How are you going?

  • How are you feeling right now?

  • What can you see, smell, hear? (great question for younger children who may not have words to go with all their emotions yet!)

Remember who you want to be...

No matter what is changing around us, we all get to decide what sort of a person we want to be in this time (our values). And so do our children. Ask your children what sort of a person they want to be. And there may be space to have a conversation as a family about some of the challenges you each come up against in trying to be that in this time.

 

Eg. I really want to be a patient person. I find this hard when I have too many things to do.

 

Offer choices wherever possible...

If change is mostly about control then offering children choice wherever possible can be beneficial in helping them to feel like they have a say. Some choices may take a bit of negotiation and for younger children, offering two or three choices helps to set the guideline!

  • ‘What book would you like to read tonight?’ Or ‘Which one of these three books would you like to read?’

  • ‘What would you like to do today after school/remote learning?’

  • ‘Would you like potatoes or rice with dinner?

 

Just because our daily lives are heading back towards normal doesn't mean that things stop being hard. Remembering this for yourself and your family is so important and can continue to give space for all of the emotions that are experienced in this season.

Don’t forget if there is any way we as a School Community can help you and your children with the transitions over the next few weeks please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

We are looking forward to seeing our school back together again and we’re committed to helping each student as best as we can in the changing climate.