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Transition times and activities differ from child to child and even activity to activity. You may find that your child transitions quickly from playtime to a pizza dinner but drags their feet when transitioning from t.v. time to bed time. Knowledge from your child’s past transitions and understanding of your child and their feelings is foundation on which to build your transition strategy.
Some of following may raise your insights towards transition:
1. How is my child behaving/feeling?
Anxiety: For some children, change (even simple change) is often difficult. Ease child’s anxiety, and resistance to change diminishes significantly.
Anger: Leaving an enjoyable activity for a less enjoyable activity often results in anger in child. Setting a time to resume enjoyable activity or devising creative transition activities (a song or role playing) can help diffuse child’s tension.
Control: When parents understand temperament of their children, it’s easier to control transition process. Transition activities for a 2 year old differ greatly from those of a 12 year old. Keep your child’s temperament and age in mind when planning transition strategies.
2. How are these behaviors/feelings addressed?
Identification: Mindful observation of your child’s positive and negative transitions can yield important clues to help smooth future transitions. Minimize impacts: Timely and calming approaches to transitions create a sense of routine and security for your child.
Model healthy patterns of transition: Children emulate people they love. Sometimes teaching your child healthy transition behaviors is as simple as modeling them yourself. 3. How do you sustain good behaviors?
Awareness: Build upon your child’s strengths and successful transitions. Support: Recognize your child’s weaknesses and alter your strategy in dealing with them. Remember: Always try to think about your plan to transition before you begin dialog.
Dr. Charles Sophy currently serves as Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. He also has a private psychiatry practice in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Charles Sophy, author of the “Keep ‘Em Off My Couch” blog, provides real simple answers for solving life’s biggest problems. He specializes in improving the mental health of children. To contact Dr. Sophy, visit his blog at http://drsophy.com.