How do you cope with change?
Some of us don’t give it much thought and more or less jump straight in. Most of us, however, regardless of our resilience level or where we lie on the over-thinking spectrum experience normal levels of anxiety during times of change.
So why is it important we start adopting more of a preventative approach for supporting the major transitions of youth?
Here are 7 important reasons to make preparing for change a priority:
1. Internationally, research has shown the importance of supporting youth through transitions. “Readiness” for these transitions is found to be predictive not only of increased well-being, but for long-term academic and occupational achievement.
2. Kids settling into their first year at school, are at higher risk of learning difficulties throughout their schooling years and more likely not to graduate if their transition experience is difficult (Kern & Friedman, 2008).
3. Students who have a positive beginning to school are found to be more relaxed, develop stronger relationships, improved learning and hold a stronger sense of belonging.
4. Positive psychology columnist, Chris Johnstone of Positive News explains “The key to successfully dealing with change is preparation.”
5. The Standford Social Innovation Review state, children "need to have the resilience and adaptability to continue to learn and master new things. Indeed, some learning scientists argue that these non-academic skills are among the most important skills of all, as they can help to both drive better academic outcomes in school and prepare children to thrive in a changing world."
6. CanChild explain the key concepts to focus on for students transitioning into a new life stage are, "the emphasis on a person's lifecourse and the network of relationships, changing roles and expectations over time; building a person's capacity to participate in meaningful activities in their community; helping a person "get ready" for the next stage in life by giving them the "tools" they need; being "interdependent" versus "independent" because person and environment are transactional. These concepts recognized that life is a journey with many transitions."
While CanChild's work focuses on transitions with children and youth with disabilities, there is no reason this approach should not be widened to best prepare all students.
7. Deborah Fike, Author at Possibility of Change teaches us, “You can recover more quickly and thrive in new circumstances if you give yourself time to prepare for changes.”
We hope the above reasons highlighting the need to prepare students for change has inspired you to take action today to ensure a smooth transition for your child.