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?