How Do I Help My Child Adapt to Change?
Uncertainty is a part of life. But as parents, we want our children to lead smooth, stable and predictable lives. We want them to be safe but we also want them to become adaptive to change. After all, once they get into formal schooling and beyond, life gets more unpredictable and chaotic. We want them to become resilient and even emerge stronger as they respond to change.
How do I help my child adapt to change
At first, it still helps to build a structure and routine to your child’s everyday life. For example, from zero to three years old, we try to make everything predictable and right on schedule. That’s because babies and very young children still try to make sense of the world around them. With all the objects, environments and people around, it’s still overwhelming for young children.
But through ages four and beyond, perhaps it’s time to expose them to different environments and experiences. This variety is crucial to helping our children become comfortable to change. In other words, we try to expand their comfort zone so that when they encounter a new environment or experience, they can easily navigate through it.
During this exposure to variety, it’s normal that sometimes they will feel sad and frustrated because things didn’t turn out the way they expected to. It’s crucial to let them process and express their feelings. This way, their minds can adapt and better respond to future changes and frustrations. In other words, a bit of stress here and there can help build strength and character. Be careful though because chronic stress can affect your child’s brain development in the long term.
You also have a huge role as a parent because you can help your child process his or her emotions. You can let him/her talk it through and express his/her emotions. Your comforting presence is also crucial in letting your child know that it’s still safe out there and it’s all right to explore and try new things.
As your child grows older, he/she will become better prepared to face the future full of uncertainty. Being adaptive and resilient is becoming more important than ever in these times of rapid change.