August 2017 Newsletter: Transitions as a Skill-Building Opportunity

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Over the next month, there will be many changes throughout the school as we graduate fourteen children into kindergarten, transition others into the next classroom, and welcome new children into the school. Transitions are an ideal opportunity for supporting and modeling socio-emotional skills in children. As you prepare your child for his or her next transition, you can use the following strategies:

  • Talk to your child about his or her feelings, identify the feelings and describe them. “I notice you have a lot of energy this morning. Are you excited? nervous? happy?” “You are walking very slowly into the classroom. What are you thinking about? Are you worried?” Naming the emotions and the physical effects they can have provides children with a sense of control over them.
  • Help your child make associations to provide a sense of familiarity. For example, “Look! This classroom has the same magnatiles as in your other classroom!” “Your new teacher has the same name as our neighbor.”  “Your friend from preschool is here with you.”  Familiarity can help ease anxiety.
  • Maintain regular sleep and mealtime routines as much as possible so that hunger and fatigue do not compromise your child’s ability to manage the change.
  • Reflect honestly and openly on your own emotions and concerns. Let your child’s teachers and/or the director know how you feel so everyone can work together through the change and model for the children how to manage it.

Knowing how to manage change effectively is a skill your child will use throughout his or her life.

 

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