How to Help Your Child Handle Change In a Positive Way
Change is inevitable, continuous and is an essential part of life, just like the changing seasons, and the life/death cycle all around you and in your own body cells.
In fact, earth has never been in the same place in space since its inception because the universe in constantly moving and expanding.
Today, the world is going through a big change. And whether we accept it or not, we can all see our old way of life quickly disappearing and a new way of life starting to emerge even after lockdown ends and even after Corona. So, there is no better time to understand change and teach ourselves and our children to manage it than right now!
Let’s be honest, nobody likes change. We may like changing the restaurant we go, changing the layout of our living-room or getting a new haircut, but at the end of it all, we like certainty.
Certainty makes us feel safe and secure and enables us to predict what will happen next. Change takes us from our comfort zone, and when that happens various uncomfortable feelings emerge. This is normal, yet it will not fade unless we mentally and emotionally move through the change.
To do that, it is important to understand the 5 stages of change:
- Fear and Denial
- Sadness and Depression
- Bargaining and Resistance
This is similar to the grieving process because, change in a way is a grief over a habit or an old way of life. To be able to move forward you will have to be aware, accept and move through these stages. And depending on your mindset you may be able to move through them quickly or drag it slowly and painfully. Just be aware that when you emerge on the other side, you would have expanded your comfort zone and gained courage, self-confidence and hope.
Have you noticed that some people and children have a greater capacity to accept and move through change than others? What is their secret? Those who deal creatively with change are those that will not just survive the change but thrive through it and the secret lies in their mindset.
When we have a growth mindset, we are able to manage change better and move forward. In contrast, when we don’t accept change, we develop a rigid mindset that keeps us stuck in our comfort zone and eventually that becomes very uncomfortable.
So, what’s a growth mindset you may be wondering?
A person with a growth mindset:
- knows their own core values and your mission in life,
- is flexible and creative,
- thinks outside the box, and
- accept uncertainty with optimism.
Fortunately, these are skills that anyone can learn.
When it comes to our children here are some tips that you can use to help them handle change positively:
- Talk to the child about the change and feelings that are bound in it.
- Notice what stage they are at and help them identify the thoughts that are associates with that stage.
- Help them identify the positive benefits and effects of the change.
- Help him visualize their acceptance of the change.
- Allow your child to participate in the change.
- Help them prepare for change.
- Create a positive environment at home.
- Talk to him about your experience and become a good role model for them.
Remember, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new” – Socrates