As we move into summer many of our children are going through some type of change whether it be school ending, family vacations or heading off to camp. It’s important to accept change even though kids may have “worry feelings” and learn ways of coping with it.

girl looking down seems worried

Parents can help children understand the feelings that come with big changes, so that they can learn tools to cope with them. There are many “worry feelings” such as sadness, disappointment, excitement and fear. Below find some tips regarding change to help you work with your children when there are transitions!


mom and daughter lying on the floor talking

1. Talk and acknowledge the “many feelings”

2. Help your child to think about what to expect in the new situation.

3. Emphasize the things that will remain the same during transition.

mother and daughter paiting with crayons

4. Use markers, crayons or paint to externalize the feelings about the transition.

5. Make a book about the change

mom and dad playing with children

6. Role play things that your child might face in a new situation that will make it easier.

Example: in a new school, go up to a child who is by himself and ask him if he wants to play or practice going up to a group of new kids and introduce yourself.

list with numbers " 1 make new friends" "2 lots of new activities"

7. Make a list of all the positive things that might come out of the change.

8. Help your child to remember when there were changes in the past and he weathered the storm.

mom and dad making a list with child

9. Make a list of things your child can do to make himself feel good when he is worried.

The list can include things I like asking for or giving a big hug, doing art, laughing out loud, looking at a favorite picture book, reading a favorite story, holding a special lovey or stuffed animal, playing ball with his dog, going for a bike ride, playing a game of cards like Uno, making a greeting card for a friend, smelling a special scent like cinnamon, swinging at the park. The list can be as long or as short as you want.

List hanging on the wall written "Things that make me feel good"

10. Post the list

Where it can be reviewed whenever your child has “worry feelings” about a change. You can even add pictures to the list as a reminder.

Written by: Marilee Hartling & Paula Boscardin

Need help to deal with changes?