Before we know it, the school year will be upon us once again! Every fall, big transitions happen for students at just about every level. Some of the big ones of course are those big jumps from 5th to 6th grade, 8th to 9th, and 12th to college. The fun part about transitions is that on top of their natural tendency to disrupt daily life, every single one of your students handles transition differently! How fun! And on top of that, every change has its own fallout.
Now so far, I’m sure you’re thinking “well that’s just great. I feel even more stressed than before.” But hang with me here. Transitions are a natural part of life. As we’ve seen in these recent days, sometimes transitions come when we least expect them as well. I want to encourage you as parents, that you are capable of helping guide your students, and even yourselves, through transitions with just a few simple ideas!
First, start talking about transitions before they happen. Even if it’s just a mention in passing in a car ride, by working it into conversations every day it starts to stick in everyone’s minds that a change is coming.
Second, if routines are going to change, like with a new school year, try setting goals for transitioning to new routines earlier rather than later. If school starting means screen time goes down or morning alarms come earlier, begin setting gradual transitional goals before the first day so that your student, and you, don’t feel the pressure of an immediate change all at once.
Finally, keep conversation lines open. Transitions are hard for you as parents and for your students. If you’re having a hard time transitioning, be open with your student. That opens the door for them to express their feelings, and there may be a lot of them, about the changes happening around them!