Four Steps to Make Transitions Easier for You and the Kids!
Your kids are having so much fun at the park, but it’s almost dinnertime and you need to leave. What happens when they start whining, crying, and refusing to go? Sometimes transitioning from one activity to another is stressful for children. Having a plan will make those transitions less of a battle.
Four Easy Steps to Make Transitions Easier
- Priming: Using Interactive Indicators
Priming means letting your child know “when” the transition will happen. Using a physical timer is a great way to let your child understand that time is running out. However, priming does not have to be a set number of minutes. You can end the activity after a number of turns on the slide, or after reading a certain chapter in a book, or even by holding your fingers up so they can see that time is running out. These are called interactive indicators.
Explaining “What” the child should expect includes what will be happening next and what behavior you expect from them. To be effective and avoid confusion, the “What” must be clear and positive.
For example; “After you finish your next turn on the slide, it will be time to have dinner. When you’re done, we will say goodbye to your friends and head home.”
TOP TIP: When explaining your intentions, make sure your child understands what is going to happen next by asking them to repeat the steps.
The conversation might look like this:
Parent: How many more turns do you get?
Child: Two more.
Parent: That’s right. And then what are we going to do?
Child: Turn off the iPad and put it on the shelf so we can eat dinner.
Parent: Awesome, I am really proud of you!
Choices allow children to feel in charge and develop decision making skills. Let’s face it, adults always have final say, so why not turn this on its head and let your child give it a go? Giving them a “forced choice” is giving them the option to do the next activity the way they want. For example, your child needs to sit down for dinner, which chair do they want to sit in?
TOP TIP: Sometimes choices can be boring. Adding fun words like “cool” or “silly” advertises the available options, “Do you want to use this cool blue pencil or the one with the silly monster on top?”
How often do you express how proud you are of your child? Verbal praise during every step of a transition, big or small, makes doing any task more fun, lets them know they are on the right track and boosts their self-esteem. Compliment their behavior, and praise their decision-making
“Great job for listening and coming back on time!”
“Thank you for clearing up the picnic blanket, I’m so proud of you!”
- Follow Through
One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to transitions is when parents don’t follow through on their transition plan. It’s a recipe for ongoing failure if you don’t hold your own. A great follow through helps your child learn that problem behaviors will not change the outcome of a transition. It also reminds them that you mean what you say, and there are always opportunities for fun when they follow directions.
Thank you so much for reading this article and for being part of the Radiant Parent Community! If you are like most of the parents we talk to, you have wasted hours googling different parenting tips and asking advice from friends and family, and all you have to show for it is contradictory advice that doesn’t work for your family. And you do NOT have time to waste! I have great news for you: The Radiant Parent Program is here to help you stay calm, confident, and joyful amidst the challenges of parenting! We will give you the most accurate parenting tips and advice, based on current research, so that your valuable time is spent learning best practice instead of hearsay. We will also give you group and individual coaching to help you take that knowledge and apply it to the unique needs of your family. Get started now with a 30-day free trial!
See you soon!
This Multimedia Content (including video and article content) has been made for informational and educational purposes only. Discover Hope Behavioral Solutions Inc. (Discover Hope) does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the multimedia content. Discover Hope does not warrant the performance, effectiveness or applicability of any sites listed or linked to it in any Multimedia Content.
The Multimedia Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen on the Site.
The information contained in the Multimedia Content posted represents the views and opinions of the original creators of such Multimedia Content and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Discover Hope Behavioral Solutions Inc. The mere appearance of Multimedia Content on the Site does not constitute an endorsement by Discover Hope Behavioral Solutions Inc. or its affiliates of such Multimedia Content.
Discover Hope hereby disclaims any and all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the Multimedia Content, which is provided as is, and without warranties.