Transitions

So the other day I was asking Bug’s preschool teacher how he is doing in general at school.  General answer – he’s not napping well (not surprised) but otherwise he’s a pretty happy camper & he eats all of his food (also not surprised).  And then she added on that he doesn’t transition well.  SUPER not surprised.  I mean, come on… going from gluing paper to play on the playground is a totally stressful situation, ya’ll.

You know how there are those things that your kid does when you are around that you hope they only do when you’re around?  I was hoping little mister’s angst when it comes to transitions was something that only happened when I was around.  You know, like the whole I’m only going to misbehave around my Momma?  Apparently, not so much.

Allow me to let you in on a little back story:  when Hubby was an itty bitty guy, he also did not transition well.  He’d be all happy playing in the sandbox and his mom & dad would want to take him to get ice cream and he’d flip his lid.  I’m talking kicking and screaming all the way to get ice cream.  What kid doesn’t want to get ice cream?  The one that doesn’t want to stop playing in the sandbox long enough to do something way cooler.

So, someone is just like his father.  Is this when parents start saying “your child yadda yadda yadda” to each other when their child misbehaves?

As I alluded above, Bug doesn’t transition well at home as well as at school.  He doesn’t throw all out tantrums (yet) but he fusses when you go from one activity to another.  At this point in his little life, he understands a good bit of what I say to him, so it’s not like he doesn’t understand that we are going to stop coloring so that we can go to the pool.  He is well aware of what “we are going to go swimming” means… the pool is pretty much his favorite place on earth, after all.

I feel like this is one of those areas where Hubby & I need to communicate a game plan.  Not that we’ve actually done that yet, but I feel like we probably need to… and then we probably need to communicate that game plan with his teachers.  As of right now, I try to give Bug a few minutes warning when we are going to change activities in any major kind of way.  For example, today we were at the pool and it was nearing time for us to go home for lunch.  About 5 minutes before I was ready to leave, I asked him if he was about ready to go home for lunch… not that he can/will respond at this point, but whatever.  A few minutes later, I gave him a “last call” that we were going to go home in a minute for lunch.  Then, we began to clean up his toys & get dried off to make the trip home.  Giving him warnings like this really seems to help him process that though we may be giving up something fun, something equally as awesome (FOOD!) is coming.  Of course, this is harder to do when a) we’re in a hurry or b) plans change, as they tend to do with children, or c) something happens quickly that needs to be dealt with right now… like a poopy diaper.

I hope this is something that Buggy grows out of, but I don’t expect this part of his personality to be vanishing any time soon.  I am prepared for this to last for years, if he truly is anything like his Daddy.  Unfortunately for us, he also seems to have inherited my stubbornness, so that could add another year or two onto this whole issues with transitions thing.  Yikes.

What not-so-awesome traits have your kids inherited from you?  Okay… you can throw in awesome inherited traits, too.

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4 thoughts on “Transitions

  1. Hey Casey, have you tried using a timer yet? Like when you’re at the pool, when he hears the timer go off he’ll know it’s time to go. Same when he’s coloring and it’s time to eat. In my classroom, I use a timer so the students know it’s time to clean up and transition to the next activity. He can even help set it.

    • I’ll definitely talk to her about it! Eli’s issue isn’t just with school, though… he’s always been like this at home, even as an infant. Kid just doesn’t like change… just like his Daddy 🙂 James STILL doesn’t handle change well!

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