Have you noticed that your children have suddenly outgrown sneakers and clothing? Well, spring is here! The grass is growing and so are our TCEE children. It seems that many of our children have begun to discover their budding independence, as well as many new and improved social skills. For parents and teachers, we are proud of the new skills acquired by each of our students and all seems calm … BUT …
All of a sudden, we find that children’s behaviors regress. There are separation issues again when dropping off at school. Rules are tested (over and over again). Children seem to bicker with friends and at home, as power struggles ensue with parents over clothing, bedtime, and even about coming to school (And these are just some of the things that are happening in the Churwin home). AHHH spring is here!
What is happening? Is there something wrong with your child? With our school? NO! Our children sense there is something coming, whether it is moving on to Kindergarten, a new summer camp program or just a change in the daily routine. Although they are excited, they are also a bit uneasy and anxious about the coming changes, particularly as they don’t have a conceptual understanding of time and cannot fully understand when changes will occur. Instead, they communicate how they’re feeling by finding ways to be in control of their lives (they take “control” of what they wear or eat, and/or when they sleep) and sometimes revert back to some younger behaviors that may feel more secure to them.
What can we do about it?
At home, you can:
• Be prepared for power struggles by finding ways for your child to exert control over his/her life
• Keep talk about summer plans and vacations to a minimum (for now)
• Mark off days on a calendar to help children visualize time and also show them how (quickly and slowly) time passes
In school, our teachers:
• Take time to remind children about classroom expectations and friendship rules
• Spend a lot of time playing outside (to run around and release energy)
• Help children feel secure by adhering to the structure of the morning routine
• As our school year comes to a close, we will provide ample opportunities for closure for our students through special end-of-the-year programs and classroom activities.
Here is another article about this very topic (although it was written particularly for children who will be transitioning to kindergarten in the fall, I found it quite useful and informative). As always, the teachers and I are also available to help in any way that we can.