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Handling Transition With a Toddler

The last two(ish) months have been rough for my family. We have experienced a lot of changes that turned my household upside down.

I think we found a peaceful way to help our 19 month old son handle the transition, but I’m wondering if there’s something I’m overlooking.

Our most thought out issue was my decision to stay at home with the kids, which means that Oliver no longer goes to child care. I really think this was a necessity for our family, but he misses the stimulation other children provide.

This seemed totally manageable, but when a bunch of other things popped up too – my husband is working a LOT, our dog passed away, our regular babysitter moved away, we got a couple of new babysitters, Oliver started CDO at a new place, we started renovating our backyard, our house flooded, etc. – Oliver started acting distressed. Oh, and baby Jack isn’t so new any more and it looks like he isn’t going anywhere.

Oliver seemed to be crying a lot more than usual. He also got frustrated very easily – throwing his toys if he couldn’t figure something out, or kicking me if I changed his diaper. These are all typical behaviors for his age, I realize, but it appeared more exaggerated than necessary.

My initial response was to spend more one-on-one time with him, which helped, but isn’t practical every day.

I have found sticking to a routine to be the most effective. I think people, especially kids, like getting into a groove because they know what to expect and what is expected of them.

Our family is not geared towards rigidity because of my husband’s work schedule and our love of being on the go. However, making sure that the kids eat, sleep and play at approximately the same time every day has been huge. I’ve known this all along (I love routine myself), but it didn’t seem all that important until recently.

How do you guys help your kids adjust to change? Especially when they can’t comprehend what’s going on?


8 Responses to “Handling Transition With a Toddler”

  1. oliviascribe

    When we moved here I didn’t notice how it affected our son until our things arrived and he jumped into our rocker in laughter. This is where we’ve been reading/nursing since he was born. Our night time routine is always the same, and I know he appreciates it, especially during changing times. I am sure you already do this, so I guess I am just reinforcing what you know works for Oliver. Acknowledging his frustration and giving him words for his emotions, in addition to giving our kids the attention they crave, works when we have challenging days. I hope things get easier for everyone soon. – Miss you. Olivia

    • marylemonwater

      Thanks, Olivia. Change is hard. I cannot imagine what your life feels like right now! Miss you lots!

  2. Lindsay

    I think it sounds like you’re doing the best thing any mom can do: providing as much of a routine as possible.

    When Evelyn acts out due to transitions, I try to remind myself that it takes ME a while to get used to changes, and I have the emotional and verbal capacity to talk about how it affects me! So I remind myself that in a week or two, “This too shall pass.”

  3. vrein11

    Oh! And don’t forget all that has happened lately. That affects him too.. just be consistent and patient. It will be ok!!!

  4. vrein11

    I think you have the biggest and, I think, the most important thing. Get into a routine and keep it as much as possible!! Be patient. It will be ok soon!!


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