Social Transitions (new school, friends or church)
The social transition for a child may vary depending on their personality. An extrovert may miss their old friend but the prospect of making new ones may be an exciting challenge. Your introverted child however may really struggle with a social transition. We have to know this as parents and pay attention to what each child may need individually. Like we discussed previously one of our jobs through the transitions is to be available to listen as our children emote and work through the transition emotionally. We have to be careful not to belittle what they are feeling or compare them to one another. We have to keep in perspective that the challenge of a new school may not seem significant to us but it is our child’s whole world. So statements like “This isn’t that big a deal” or “your sister…” can be crushing and alienate your child. We must take the time to understand and help them through the big deal this is to them. Another thing we can do as parents is to make sure that we create time for fun. This is especially important for those times of transition in the social arena. Finally, in a new social setting we can direct our child and help them process through making wise friend choices. We may have more input in these choices as friendships are budding rather then established. But again this takes not only hearing about your child’s day but really listening.
For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.