It's inevitable that change will come into our lives (think the Christmas holidays coming up, the nativities, the additional ‘fun’ lessons at school). For children, change can be especially difficult to cope with, even change that we may see as small can be the difference between them feeling safe and secure in their day to day lives to feeling scared and anxious. As a parent, it's important to be there for your child and help them through this tough time. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips that can help make the transition easier for both you and your child and I will share some things that have helped my autistic son especially.
One of the best things you can do as a parent is to be there for your child. Talk to them about the change that is coming and allow them to express their feelings. It's also important to reassure your child that you will still be there for them, no matter what changes come our way. We have found ‘The big feelings’ pad (which can be found at www.aboxfullofjoyuk.co.uk
) really helpful for our son to express his feelings when he is struggling and also allowing him time and space to do his soothing activities (such as rolling his toy tyres, deep compression with his weighted blanket and colouring).
Another tip that can help is to create a routine. When change happens, it can often disrupt our daily routine. By having a set routine in place, it can help provide some stability for your child and it can help them feel safe and secure. This could include things like bedtime routines, mealtimes, and even regular times of leisure. We have a visual timetable for our children in the school holidays and times when the normal school routine is disrupted, for example when the end of term is coming.
Try to keep things as positive as possible and be prepared. Change can be scary, but it doesn't have to be all bad. Help your child focus on the good aspects of the change and look forward to the new experiences they will have. We find that preparing our son for change a week or so before is helpful so he can visually see the change coming on his timetable and cross off the days completed in the holidays.
Finally, don't forget to take care of yourself. Change can be difficult for everyone involved, so make sure to give yourself some time to adjust as well. You need to be able to co-regulate for your child and support them so taking some deep breaths, going for a walk or doing something you enjoy in the evenings mean you are in a better place emotionally to support your child through change.
I hope this blog post was helpful! If you have any other tips that have worked for you and your family, please share them in the comments below. With these tips in mind, you and your child can face change together in a supportive and understanding way.
Nicole is a mum of two, experienced teacher and creator of 'A Box Full of Joy' who is passionate about supporting, encouraging and empowering young people who struggle to communicate their feelings or process their worries. Nicole is passionate about providing early support with her proactive approach. Through her products, workshops and mentoring, young people will be set up for facing the future with resilience and confidence. You can follow her on www.instagram.com/a.box.full.of.joy.uk
and visit her website at www.aboxfullofjoyuk.co.uk