Transitions can be SO hard!
My family just reconnected after the 6 of us were in three different places for the week. One kid at camp, three kids at grandparents, and my husband and I had a week of vacation to ourselves. Good times were had by all! And then the transition back to home, all together. So good to be together... and it's been a challenging transition. We've seen baby talk re-appearing, sibling fights, anger over doing household chores, grumbling that home is boring and there's nothing fun to do.
So, what can we do when transitions are rocky for our kids and everyone is feeling a bit crazy?
A: Anticipate P: Practice P: Prepare L: Listen E: Ease into it
Some of our kids' meltdowns and struggles seem to come out of the blue, but when we can scan out from the moment we often see that many transitional struggles can be anticipated. Our kids tend to have trouble with the same sorts of transitions on a regular basis, so we can start to anticipate them. I used to feel like I was walking in a minefield and an explosion could happen at any step. When I started thinking like "parent detective" and taking notes on the struggles, I started to see patterns.
P: Practice and Prepare
If you can anticipate that a certain transition is going to be a struggle, then you can help you child prepare and even practice for the next similar transition. What could that look like? For one of my kids, I started like this "Hey sweetie, I am just thinking about your camp coming up and how it might feel when your fun week at camp is done. How do you think that will feel?" The conversation is started! Reach out to me and we can talk about how to help your kids.
Once the conversation is started, listen to what your kid thinks. What suggestions does your child have to help with the tricky transitions. Brainstorm ideas together and celebrate the communication!
E: Ease into it
You know transitions might be hard, maybe you've had a chance to practice and prepare for the transition with your child, now it's step 3... Ease into the transition. Don't overbook these transition times. Plan extra time around transitions, time to connect with your kids, listen to them and give them extra snuggles, plan for a healthy snack and hydration. When we are over booked in our days and rushing into the next transition we can run into trouble.
Could you use someone to talk through the specific challenging situations you're encountering? Reach out to me and let's set up your free parent coaching consult.