Why is it that smallest parts of our day lead to the BIGGEST MELTDOWNS?
Moving from bed to getting dressed
Moving from breakfast to packing up back packs
Moving from car to preschool drop off
Moving from tv off to homework time
Moving from playtime in the backyard to dinner….
Where is your BIGGEST MELTDOWN?
It is very likely that it is happening in the time between events or the TRANSITIONS.
These little moments should be short lived.
Yet, they tend to be the sticking points where kids put up a fight & whittle your time away.
If you find yourself taking too much time correcting behaviors between events in your day, transition issues is probably the culprit.
Here are some quick transition tips to make them positive, teachable moments….
Within in each transition:
-Pause Before you head into the next event.
-Review the previous scene (positively and negatively)
“Even though you were upset last night before bed, you fell asleep and slept all night!”
-Connect to your child (hug, pat on the back, listening ear)
“Can I snuggle a little in your bed with you before you have to get up?”
-Preview (setting up the agenda, expectations and boundaries)
“Okay, we are going to head to breakfast…
I will work on getting it ready and you will work on getting your clothes on and be at the table by the time the food is ready…”
“Remember my car is leaving at 8:30 so if you are not ready for school you will come as you are… clothes or no clothes, breakfast or no breakfast”
-Remind them that you’ve seen them succeed before
“I was so excited to see you come down the stairs yesterday just as I was putting your oatmeal on the table… You are really getting good at this”
-Give Grace for Choice and Space (NO HOVERING)
“You will need a short sleeve shirt and a long pants… you choose something that fits those rules or I can choose for you”
“I wonder if you will meet me at the top of the stairs when you are ready or surprise me at the kitchen table when I least expect it”
“I will head downstairs and not bother you while you make your choice and do your job”
Always give a “you do this______while I do _______” statement to help you avoid too much mommy controlling/lingering/hovering
-Preview the Agenda ahead… first we will___, second____, third___
-Use visuals to lay out the storyline/agenda/rules/checklist of items to do
-Use simple/less language and more clear cue words
First Clothes, Second Meet me at the Table, Third pack up to go
-Avoid Please?, Okay?, or Yes/No questions. They make kids think that all this is optional
-Positives Positives Positives... avoid too much gushy positive just simple I noticed statements
-Offer a well placed HELP or a well placed YES these are special because you are helping or saying yes with something you usually say no to
Can I help you do that today because I know you are running a little behind (this makes your help special and not all the time)
Mom can I have an extra cup of juice this morning… YES I know how fast you were running around to get ready so quickly
-Add fun and excitement to the transition:
music on the radio in the kitchen as we clean up our plates
racing to the top of the stairs like bunny rabbits
counting off like a rocket ship as you buckle them into their seat belts and head on your way
WOW! That’s a lot of stuff to jam pack into a tiny little transition time!
So just try one new thing from this list of ideas. Add it in consistently before adding in another idea.
Soon your transitions will run much more smoothly and you will avoid wasting all that time coaxing them from one event to the next.