Back To School Worries?
Battling the post-summer blues?
Frantically trying to get the kids ready for school ?
Does the act of juggling your children’s apprehension and your own anxiety for them sound familiar?
You are most likely in the realm of transition yourself, as a forced participant or an active bystander. And if you are feeling this way, have you considered the effects of transition on your child?…
Transition is a time of change as we pass through the various stages of life. For babies, this can be the weaning from milk to solid foods. For the young child, transitions can happen when he/she enter their nursery years and then starts school. For adults, life changes can include marrying, divorcing, having children, changing jobs or moving. Transition is a natural part of life. But do you wonder what happens to your children when faced with a life transition?
The transitions that take place during childhood can be viewed as one of the most influential in our lives, as this is a time when we are faced with the realities of change. The more appropriately childhood transitions are dealt with, and successfully completed, the less likely we are to repeat unresolved transitions later on in life. Also, we are also less likely to become paralysed by the inevitable transitions throughout our development. When children handle transition well, they learn to cope with change positively. They develop appropriate coping strategies, while building necessary resilience. But if they have a negative association of transition, and manage change poorly, they can end up feeling insecure, unconfident and overly anxious.
The former has learned to deal confidently with transition, while the latter tends to be afraid of moving on or of facing new challenges. Hence, it is crucial that children learn how to process change, good or bad.
Of course, since we are all different, children may be presented with similar routine life transitions that they may be able to cope with. And yet at times, more significant and challenging circumstances may still affect them. Not every child has naturally developed resilience, or adequate coping strategies to rely on, in order to face change adequately. Such children require extra support and art therapy can be a helpful tool in aiding them with managing transitions.
Art Therapy International Centre (ATIC) can help provide your children with a creative approach to change which can also aid in their development:
✔ Art-making can be a natural way for children to express, process and regulate emotions
✔ Aid children to express their hopes and fears
✔ using art as a therapeutic outlet can help children to learn healthy coping strategies in order to manage change
✔ Art as an outlet can help prevent complications to transition, such as managing high anxiety
✔ creating art can help children to build their self-esteem and confidence in adapting to change
✔ art therapy can provide early intervention to ensure their smooth transition through life stages
✔ having a creative outlet also helps to prevent maladaptive behaviour
TIP’s – How to help your child make a positive transition
➜ Ensure that their basic needs are met
➜ Maintain and encourage their positive relationships
➜ Provide support and resources to them in their new environment, and modify routines as appropriate
➜ Offer them choices, and involve them in the transition process to promote and support self-advocacy
➜ Support their need for increased independence and help them to create their own identity
➜ prepare them for the transition, and ensure consistency within and between environments
➜ Ensure that all transition plans are coordinated, and that information is shared in order to help ease anxiety
➜ Allow them to express their emotions, positive or negative. Provide reassurance, without shielding them to the point that you take away their ability to develop their coping skills.