How to Help Children Adjust to Change: 4 Steps - MakeSureHow
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A new household routine can cause stress for young children.

Change may be inevitable, but most toddlers and preschoolers don't think philosophically when their world is being turned upside down. Whether it's a move from one neighborhood to another, or clear across the country, a divorce or the death of a loved one, young children have different ways of coping. Since you know your children best, help them adjust to major and minor life changes. The methods may differ, but hopefully your child will realize that not all change is bad, and that life will continue after the change occurs.


  1. 1
    Prepare your preschooler or toddler for the change if possible. If it's an upcoming move, begin talking to your child about living in a new home and a new town, emphasizing positive aspects like possibly having a room of his own or being able to visit relatives more often, depending on what your new location has to offer.
  2. 2
    Allow your toddler or preschooler to express feelings and vent frustrations about the change taking place. This doesn't mean you now have to declare your home a "tantrums allowed" zone. However, your child may understandably have strong reservations when anticipating the change he is about to endure. Very young children are understandably upset about leaving their familiar environment, especially when a move involves parents separating. Other major life changes, like the death of a grandparent (or even a pet), may cause your child to have extreme reactions like long periods of withdrawal or refusal to eat over many days. Be alert for these and other behaviors that are not typical for your child.
  3. 3
    Maintain a sense of stability and security in the midst of the change. Even if your child doesn't verbalize her anxieties, you can comfort her by maintaining bedtime and mealtime routines. Most importantly, try to be around as much as you can. Your presence in the middle of a upheaval is a source of strength for your little one.
  4. 4
    Encourage your kiddo to be resilient. Coping with change even at the tender age of 2 to 5 can help your child handle later changes more easily. You can encourage a preschooler by telling him about changes you've gone through in your life and how you made it through each one. This can comfort your child by helping him realize that his experiences and feelings are not unusual.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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