Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

When change is the norm

Posted August 15, 2010

Change seems to be the norm for me these days -- a norm I'm tolerating but not necessarily embracing.

In the next month or so, we will likely be moving and that's not the only change in store for our family. The kids will be starting a new school year and the youngest will be going to preschool for the first time. We'll also have a new babysitter who will round out all of the crazy madness headed our way.

Change is stressful for grown ups but can be even more stressful for children. At one point this past week my 9-year-old daughter looked at me and said, "Mommy, are we going to find a place to live and go to the same school?" I could tell by the way she asked that my stress had turned into her stress. I reassured her that everything was going to be just fine.

My husband and I have tried to limit our conversations about these changes in front of the children, but inevitably the topic creeps up whether it's a call from a real estate agent or another interview with a sitter. It's difficult to prepare for big changes without talking about some things in front of the kids.

So the question remains… how do I deal with so much at one time and not worry the children? Right now, my strategy is to listen to their concerns, not dismiss them. I make my responses as reassuring as possible and save any signs of real signs of stress until after their bed time.

Beyond death and taxes, our family is learning there’s one more certainty in life... change.

Aysu is the busy mom of three and assistant news director for WRAL-TV. Find her here on Sundays.

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  • Supie Aug 16, 2010

    Children can also be included in the planning. We all do better with changes when we feel we have some control in new situations, like having our opinions and preferences taken into account. The more decisions we can make, the more comfortable we are with the changes. Can the children choose the colors of their new bedroom walls? Can they be promised a tour of their new school before their first day? Would it be possible for them to help plan the move? Being included in decisions is helpful, even for children.