Handling children in the modern world requires a lot of expertise. Children go through a myriad of changes that creates imbalances in their lives. These imbalances are in physical, psychological and social nature. Therefore children require proper strategies that can influence transition in their lives. Through transitions, children either harbor feelings for change or loss. Therefore, for children to go through transitions so that they adapt to the changes in their physical and emotional world. This paper will focus on understanding the concept of transition and multiple transitions in the life of a child. Furthermore, this paper will analyze the strategies that can support children in their transition thorough lose or change. In particular, the paper will focus on the provision of favorable physical and emotional environment, continuity of care, social storytelling, preparation work for change or loss and resilience. Finally, the paper will elucidate the contribution of the concept of liminality in supporting the experiences of children during transitions.
Transition refers to the situation where children are supposed to respond to situations involving changes and loss in their lives. A transition is evident in aspects of a change in developmental stage, a change in an entry or exit from a care system, bereavement, loss, change in parental capacity, or change from childhood to adulthood. Children face transition when adapting to the ever changing ecological and environmental conditions whether, physical, social, or psychological. A change on the child`s external environment such as abandonment, parental abuse, moving from one house to another, migration, parental divorce, and unemployment increases the child's personal demands to adapt.
Multiple transitions happen when one transition in a child's life brings yet another transition. Those dealing with children requires more skills in supporting the child in such a scenario. For instance, when the parent divorce and the parent staying with the kid remarries, the child has to transit from the previous parental capacity to another and also has to change the relationship. This makes the child vulnerable and feels some loss. The child experiences disruptions in identity, attachment, relationship and security which significantly affects the development of the child. Children have experiences and feelings about things that happen to the through different environmental and situational contexts because they are social beings. Children move from one context to another and through the different contexts, they adapt with different models. Each context elicits a unique transition model for a child and therefore helps the child in the development process through a transition. Therefore, when children encounter changes or loss in their lives, the transition invokes a powerful adaptive feeling that helps the child in the transition.
Children can be supported through a transition by creating a secure physical and emotional environment for them. Adults are expected to support the feelings of the child through providing them time and chances to express themselves (Leverett, 2008, p.226). The anxiety as a result of transition predisposes the child to feelings of hopelessness. Therefore, the person working with the kids should ensure that they provide them with time and space to express their feelings and thoughts about the situations they encounter. From listening, the adult may see the importance to refer the kid to a more specialized care when necessary. Sometimes, the caregivers can be inadequate to deal with cases of cognitive behavioral and bereavement therapies. Furthermore, adults should adequately listen and be responsive to the feelings and needs of the children. Through listening and paying attention to them, it is likely that the child can open up and narrate what they are going through and therefore, appropriate solutions can be sought. Therefore, consistent provision of support and empathy to the feelings of the child can help detect the transitions they are going through and offer appropriate remedies. It is important to note that feelings are best known to the person experiencing the feeling. Therefore, caregivers should not expect that the child can automatically share their experiences or feelings without giving them grounds to share what they have in mind. Some children introverts and are not open enough to share information about them. For instance, a child from school can exercise transference by focusing on something else than telling their parents about a boring day in school. Parents can support such kind of kids by providing them with more ample space where they can switch off from the activities in school and divert to other important things in life. On the other hand, the parents can encourage the child to spend time with peers. Giving the child time to spend playing with peers helps the child to have space and share their thought about their feelings and experiences with the peers. This enables them in the transition process from school to home. Although some children would want to suppress feelings that hurt them, others usually wait for the right moment, place or an appropriate person to share with. Therefore, those caring for children should invoke feelings of trust and safe places to establish the relationship with the kids so that they share their experiences. It is also significant to take keen measures in attending to the expressions of the kid so that they do not feel wasted for sharing their feelings. This will encourage the child to share with the adult the next time they have an issue. Besides, the caregiver improves the trusting relationship with the child hence influencing the transition process. Notwithstanding, parents should also create unique spaces for the children. Some children are uncomfortable in public places, and they feel much better when they are alone. Therefore, parents are encouraged to create customized space for the children when at home. Creating the space for the child enables them to have a sense of place. On the other hand, the child experiences freedom away from scrutiny and surveillance from the parents, and therefore they can develop personal skills.
Moreover, continuity is also an important strategy for providing support to children during a transition. Continuity is the stable behavior in a childs life which acts as a basis for their future reasoning and behavior. This behavior supports the child through transition and therefore must be fully enforced. For instance, best friends, pets, dolls, school, some objects and the environment that the child treasures acts as continuity. When a child is exposed to strange circumstances, the factors from the familiar part of the child forms the support that the child requires during and after a transition. However, establishing continuity in multiple transitions is a problem. This is because of aspects such as fragmented homes, unemployment, and disability. Multiple transitions happen for instance when the child changes placement and subsequently has to change school. In such a scenario the child should be supported by making efforts to keep other factors such as family relationship and parental capacity constant. Therefore, continuity establishes the importance of relationships and attachment despite changes in situations or environment. Continuity has to be facilitated in particular for children whose parents are working, those in Locked Aftercare, and those from fragmented lives at home. This can be in forms of facilitating improved peer friendships as a facilitator for a transition from home to school. This is because children get motivated when they see a familiar person they used to play with in the same classroom. Therefore, the child adequately adjusts to the transition and feels a sense of belonging. Transitions mostly involve incidences of discontinuities and continuities. For instance, the child experiences difficulties in maintaining meaningful contact with old friends and schoolmates. This mostly happens when the parents move from one house to another. Additionally, some parents who are army officers usually move around with their families thereby predisposing the child to discontinuities. Therefore, since the child is exposed to a multifaceted relationship with the environment and friends, they are bound to have difficulty in transforming. This kind of children should be supported by providing emotional literacy where the emotions and the expressions of the child are clearly dealt with. On the other hand, continuity can be facilitated by ensuring that the child in well connected with the new environment. Furthermore, when children live in Locked Aftercare places, the child experiences a breakdown from the love and relationship with the parent. Therefore in such scenarios, the parents are advised to visit the child until they adapt well. This is an example of school visiting days. This provides a continued relationship and encourages the child to transform through the loss of family relationships. However, visitation by parents should be properly planned so that it does not interfere with their transformation. For instance, parents should not regularly visit the child in the aftercare facilities. On the other hand, towards the end of the child period in the aftercare facility, parental visitations highly recommended so that it encourages the child to in the next transition from the facility to their home. Continuity in contact between the child and the birth family in necessary during the transition because it establishes the relationship bonds.
Moreover, adults caring for the child undergoing transition cannot disregard the contribution of social storytelling regarding the history of the child. The adults are supposed to retell important stories about the history of the child which will help in instilling memories and a sense of self-identify. The memories of the story help the kid to keep links with their family history, culture, and origin among others. This encourages the continuity of the child hence their successful transition. This strategy applies to children encountering multiple transitions. For instance, a child moving from a fragmented family to a child care facility is facing multiple transitions because they have a changed relationship and an environmental chance. The child feels the loss of the warmth of the family and therefore has to be supported by telling them stories about their origin and their families. This enables the kid to store important information about them hence successful transformation. Furthermore, it helps the child to improve their personality and creativity to transform their lives. One of the roles of the family is to be a reservoir for knowledge concerning the life of the child. The family has relevant information regarding the life history of the child, and therefore the history should be used in caring for the child. In this case, the child is supposed to be availed with the important information regarding their life when young, parents, brothers, old friends among others. This makes the child feel strategically placed for a transition. Books containing life stories of the child are also important elements in supporting the transition in the life of a child. The book contains a visual content of significant memories in the life of the child. This helps the child to develop a chronology of the events in their lives. Caregivers are supposed to help the child go through the book while giving relevant insights to the child to help in the transition.
Preparation of a proper working plan to support the child during and after a transition is an important strategy. Therefore, proper preparation has to be done to come up with the best plan for effecting th...
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