When confronted with big life changes, children can become easily traumatized. Here are some common life changes that could threaten your child’s sense of security, and ways to prepare your child for these changes preemptively.
A New Brother/Sister Jealousy is apt to arise months before the baby is born. This would be a great time for dad to initiate a project with the affected child. Set aside some time each night to work on the project together and keep the schedule when the baby arrives. This will replace the jealousy with the hope of mining such a wonderful new connection!
Switching Schools Gather as much information as you can about the school and present the information to him when he is receptive. Highlight the benefits of the school. Give your child permission to cry and to express his concerns.
Relocating Inform your child of the move, well before it happens. This will give him time to part with his routine emotionally. If your child has any younger brothers or sisters, assign him a responsibility regarding their development before the move. This will foster a sense of maturity and eliminate despair.
Death The passing of a loved one is particularly hard on children. Cry in their presence. Respect your child’s space. If they don’t want to be touched while crying, don’t touch them. Crying is involuntary. If your child perceives a violation, he may shut down emotionally, repressing his grief. Joke, laugh and relive the best memories. Time will heal the hurt.
Physical Changes Those of us who have children were afforded the ability to reproduce around age ten. Your child will approach you. Reassure them that everything they are going through is normal. The child may be frightened and confused. If they request an appointment with a physician, honor it.