As adults we know change is good and necessary. It forces us to be uncomfortable, pushing us to rely on God in new ways, and leads to our growth. Just because it can be good for us, doesn't make change any less difficult. And if change can be challenging for us, then imagine what it must be like for our kids.
Protecting our children from change is impossible, but we can help make change easier for kids.
The uncertainty that change creates is worse than the change itself. There is a loss of control, and people, young and old, like control. There are many things that are out of the control of our kids, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have peace when navigating change. In the face of uncertainty, you can help your kids have a better expectation of what is lurking around the corner.
On June 23rd, we are having an “Up Sunday.”
This means we are moving all kids in grade school to their next grade. For many kids, that only means they are another grade older and cooler. But for Kindergarteners and 5th graders, June 23rd will present them with a lot of change. They will have new teachers, spaces, teaching styles, worship songs, friends, games, and expectations.
Here is a list of things you can do to prepare your child. Hopeful this list can help you to eliminate uncertainty for you kids in any life changes they may experience.
TELL THEM WHAT’S HAPPENING
“Come on Mr. Mike, duh.” I know, I know, but don’t discredit this because it is simple. Let you kids know that a change is coming, and answer the questions I promise will come, ideally all of them if you have the time. This can sound something like, “Can you believe you are almost in 1st grade. You are getting so big. And because of that, you get to be in the big kids class.”
WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
Change can create a bunch of different emotions, so let them know who they can go to if bad feelings surface. Please let them know that if they feel nervous or scared while they are in their new class, they should just raise their hand and ask to speak to a teacher privately. My team knows this could be a tough day for the kids, so they are prepared to give some extra loving.
Get your kids pumped for the change. Whether it is a new house, sibling, or Sunday classroom, draw their attention to the exciting new things this change will bring.
Help your kids visualize what will happen before the transition occurs. For example, introduce the new space to your children before they actually have to enter it, or let them see a picture of a new friend they will have.
In life, sometimes change is permanent. I bring this up because kids will only get used to something when they stick with it. Your kids will not see their place in a new classroom unless they have the chance to be consistent and get used to it.
I hope you feel better equipped to help you kid prepare for upcoming change. We cannot keep our kids safe from everything, but we can teach them how to react to change when it happens.
As always, If there is any way I can assist, - I would love to hear from you.