Every once in a while, our family goes through major changes. It doesn’t happen often and we try to keep changes to a minimum, but, on occasion, something needs to give. There have been times I have had to change our homeschooling methods or curriculum. We have changed our church, our homeschooling group, our set of friends, and, at one point, almost moved out-of-state!
Our kids, like most others, do not always handle change well. They become anxious, moody, fearful, sad, obstinate, or clingy when life goes out of balance. It is our responsibility to help our children overcome their fear and accept this new area of their lives. While each child needs to be comforted in their own way, there are a few tried-and-true helps for everyone:
We try to make ourselves available to them. No matter the change, I want to make sure they are with me through it all. Our children are encouraged to share input and thoughts; they know we are doing this together.
We talk about the changes we are going through. I am honest about my fears, anxiety, and excitement. This helps them to know they are not alone and we are going through this as a team.
We let them know they are free to talk about their worries. My kids need to know I am here to listen to their concerns and there is nothing they can’t tell me.
We help them prepare for what is ahead. We discuss expectations, encourage one another, and prepare as best as we able for the coming changes.
We try to keep everything else normal. I try not to overwhelm them with too many changes at once. (e.g. If we are changing curriculum, we keep everything else about our day normal.) This keeps life a little more stable and gives them less to worry about.
We try to keep a positive attitude about the situation. It helps my kids when I get excited about the change and I show them how much they have to look forward to.
We try to make sure they are keeping healthy. This may sound funny, but it is vital. Kids get anxious about change, which can make them sick. It helps if I keep my kids on a regular diet; making sure they get exercise and plenty of rest.
Change can be a good thing. For children, it can also be scary. How we handle change, and make ourselves available to our family is vital. May the Lord help us embrace whatever change He is bringing our way, giving Him all glory and honor through the transition.
If you’re struggling with last-minute changes in your routine, – Don’t you just love when that happens? – it might be the Lord asking you to be Open to Change. Or, perhaps, curriculum isn’t working according to plan and you need a complete overhaul? May THIS article encourage you to take a breath, seek the Lord in all things, and give Him glory through the madness.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
~ Jeremiah 29:11
Your Turn!: How does your family handle life changing situations?