Not all children can adapt instantly and effortlessly to the changing seasons that we all experience throughout the year. Most children thrive on routine as this helps them to understand the world in which they live in and it can take a period of adjustment for them to adapt. So let see how we can help them along the way.
Life does not stay the same, it is constantly changing and children will need to learn how to cope with this in order for them to experience new aspects such as changing seasons in the best way! Adults can help children to learn how to cope with these changes, which will help take them into adulthood in a positive way.
Adults as role models – what can we do?
So what can we do as adults to help children adapt? Well, firstly we can be there for them and show them how to behave and act around new and changing situations.
Children model adult behaviour and research shows that children as young as two will start to mimic and copy adults behaviour around them. So, if an adult acts stressed and anxious in their daily lives, children will also begin to exhibit these traits. However if an adult were to act in a controlled, relaxed manner, when in certain situations, the children around them are more likely to develop positive reactions too.
Parents should strive to form positive, well-meaning relationships with their children from day one, as this will aid children in developing a positive outlook for personal relationships with others and begin developing resilience in this fast paced world of ours.
Resilience is an important development in evolution. It helps adults and children adapt to new experiences and situations, whether positive or negative. You can see this occur all around the world today, where children in less favourable situations still manage to flourish despite their undesirable circumstances. This resilience is what aids in the positive development of children and strives to help children cope no matter what. Of course adults still need to be aware of modelling positive behaviour as this aids in the development of children developing resilience.
Top tips for coping with changing seasons
- Explain to children what is happening. Explain about temperature/ weather variations and show them videos in a child friendly way (children learn much better when learning in a visual and creative way)
- Be prepared to answer questions, no matter how many! Don’t ignore or take your own knowledge for granted. Children are learning what you have known for years!
- Check what school are teaching children and try reinforce this at home, most classes will talk about weather and seasons so you can use this to help children understand seasonal change at home.
- Try not to be negative about change in front of children as this may influence their perception of it
- Embrace all seasons, get those wellies on and jump in puddles (or at least allow them to), let them get dirty and muddy, enjoy warm sunny days, crunch through the leaves in autumn!!
- Ensure you provide children with the correct clothing and accessories for each season (sun cream, glasses, hat scarves etc). Try let them decide (age appropriate) what they’ll need each day by asking them ‘what’s the weather like today, what might you need’. This helps children to take responsibility for their own actions (also helps in risk-management).
- If young children are struggling with the extra hour backwards and forwards, you might consider adjusting their routine slightly until they are more comfortable with the time difference
- Don’t change routines all at once, take it slowly and explain to children what is happening. This will help with conflict, as they will expect a change to their usual routine.
- Don’t get angry with children expressing negative emotions about the change, this is normal and is just their way of saying ‘ help me understand, explain to me please’