All children will naturally go through transitions. A transition is a change that moves us form one stage to another. Some of the most important transitions happen in the baby/young children stage of life.
It is important that while they are going through this they have support from those around them, whether it be at home, school or nursery. The early experiences of children going through a transition has a big effect on how they will be able to handle transitions later on in life. As not all transitions are planned, it can cause a child to become distressed as they will feel like they don’t have control over the situation. This in turn can affect the childs emotional and behavioural develop which can possibly lead to an impact on their intellectual and physiological development.
Some different types of transitions are:
This is affected by their personal experiences such as bereavement or a change in their family setting, for example the divorce of their parents, gaining or losing a step parent, a new baby, the loss of a pet or abuse/domestic violence.
A physical transition such as moving to a new house, nursery or school can also have an emotional impact on the child as they may be moving away from their family/friends. They may be worried about having to make new connections as well as grieving for the ones they are leaving behind. Another example is a child moving from one room in my nursery to another, for instance the toddler room to the preschool room. When moving a child, I have to be aware of the impact it may have on them, such as being overwhelmed or scared because of the new environment, faces or routines within the room. The child may find it difficult to adapt to their new surroundings, this could have a negative effect on their behaviour, such as being withdrawn, shy and feel isolated from their new group. This is why it is important to have a settling in period for the child before the transition is completed.