Talking to Your Children about Change

In our post Tuesday we touched on the importance of teaching children to develop a positive attitude towards change. So today, for Slow Down and Share Sunday, we have a quote and some discussion points that can be used to initiate conversation with children about change.

Sunday Quote 6(1)

 For a printable version of this quote, please click here: Sunday Quote 6

  • Share with your child(ren) that palm trees are able to survive hurricane strength winds that can uproot or break other kinds of trees. Ask them to guess why this might be. Then explain that the reason for this is because when powerful winds are blowing palm trees they don’t remain straight up. Instead they are flexible and bend, almost to the ground sometimes, and this is what helps them to survive.
  • Talk to them about about a time you were confronted by change and, like a palm tree, chose to bend instead of break. Try to keep your example basic and at their level of understanding. For instance, with a very young child you could use the idea of going to get ice cream and the store being out of your favorite flavor. Instead of getting mad and throwing a fit and leaving with no ice cream, you instead remained flexible and selected a different flavor so you still got a treat to enjoy. For an older child you might share about being at recess and having your best friend suddenly decide they don’t like to play the game you two usually play together. Instead of getting frustrated about your friend’s opinion or abandoning a game you really loved, you chose to bend a little and tell them you would try a new game for one day if you could return to the game you usually play tomorrow.  Then you ended up trying a new activity you really enjoyed and you still let your friend know it was important to you to play your favorite game another time.
  • Give them some different examples of scenarios where they might experience unexpected change and ask them to share what might happen if they chose to stand stiff and inflexible. You could follow that by asking how they could bend and be flexible in those same scenarios. Examples could be the following; a play date where their friend doesn’t want to play the same things they want, going to a resturant that doesn’t have their favorite food they like to order, finding out they have a substitute or new teacher at school or learning that there were going to be new rules at home.
  • After you talk with your child(ren) about this concept, whenever you feel them getting flustered when confronted by change you can simply remind them “Maybe we should try to bend a little…so we don’t break…just like a palm tree.”