Skip to Content

Posted by: Rebecca Bazzoni 3 months ago

Children use consistency and routine to organize information and help make sense of their world. Sometimes consistency and routines are interrupted by life events such as changing school levels, new caregivers, or moving to a new living space. By laying the groundwork for what kids can expect when their routines are interrupted, parents and caregivers can help ease worries or fears that may accompany a change to something new.

Talk ahead: Different versus Same
Providing children with an idea of what to expect with a life change or interruption to routine can help children know what to expect and begin to form a frame of reference for new experiences. An easy place to start with sharing information can be filling kids in on what will be different versus what will be the same.
Example:
o This year you will be in a different classroom, but these classmates will be the same. When we visit the school next week, we can look at your new classroom.
o On Friday you will have a new babysitter, but you will still get your favorite pizza for dinner. I can help you with a list of fun things you can do with your new babysitter.
o Next week Joe’s Kids is moving. There will be a new building, but you will still see your therapist and your favorite toys!

Emotions and Behavior
Listen to what your child is telling you without judgement or trying to solve a problem. Life changes and interruptions to routine can bring a variety of emotions, including fear, worry, excitement, frustration, or sadness. Children may communicate these emotions verbally to caregivers, or nonverbally through behavioral differences such as tantrums, whining or increased fidgeting. Interruptions to sleep schedules, changes in appetite, or pushback for regular activities can all be a nonverbal way for children to express a big emotion without words.

Spotlight: Social Stories
Social stories show information through pictures and simple sentences to help children understand new or changing situations. Social stories establish expectations and provide children with a framework for possible responses.

Ask the front desk for a custom social story for Joe’s Kids move to a new building!

Joe's Kids has been our saving grace. They have been right there with us 100% of the way.
Susie Owen's Mom