While teaching kindergarten I would sing this to my students so that they would start noticing all of the patterns that surround us in life. Patterns can be comforting as they are predictable and help us to know in advance what to expect.
A type of pattern that we all experience at various times throughout our lives is transition. Transitions are changes to the predictable patterns that we find comforting. We leave our pattern of knowing to a new environment where we have to figure out a new pattern. One place that we can practice gaining comfort with transition is when our children are in school. Children enter kindergarten and move through the grades to middle school, high school, and beyond. Each school year brings a new teacher, new friends, new procedures and routines, and sometimes a new campus.
What can we do as parents to ease the anxiety that surrounds transition?
- Take time as a family to discuss the concept of transition.
- Share a story of a transition that you went through and what you learned from the experience.
- Talk about the feelings you experienced when going through a transition.
- Prepare for the transition as a family team. Visit the campus and meet the teachers.
- Model the way by embracing change positively. It is an opportunity for growth.
Transitions represent the impermanence that life’s journey brings. Your child has you as a “guide on the side” for a short period of time. Each new school year offers an opportunity to practice. Let’s help our children see transition as a predictable pattern that they will experience over their life-time. Soon they will be singing, “Over and over and over again, transitions are like that, like that my friend.”