Trusting relationships core of effective transitions for children
The latest issue of New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC)’s online journal He Kupu focuses on Transitions and life changes for children, an area of increasing importance as New Zealand’s youth anxiety levels reach unprecedented heights.
“We really need to recognise that transitions are a potential source of anxiety for children in our care, and that early childhood teachers have an opportunity to influence this,” says lecturer Sue Nicolson.
Sue discusses her ideas in her article Identifying and supporting children through life changes, published in the May 2019 edition of He Kupu.
She notes that a child’s resilience and ability to deal with change can be greatly impacted by their teacher’s responses to their behaviour.
“By helping them to build the skills and techniques needed to reduce this anxiety in the early years, we can better prepare them to process transitions in the future,” said Sue.
The early childhood education lecturer believes reassuring children that what they are experiencing is a natural part of life can also help them become more resilient to change.
“Children are not built with an innate understanding of their emotions. By acknowledging their feelings and helping them to understand that they are normal, we can guide them to see transitions in a more positive light.”
Sue also advises teachers to allow time to foster secure attachments with children and their families so they can feel comfortable opening up.
“Trusting relationships sit at the core of effective transition processes for young children. We need to take the time to build strong partnerships with children and their whānau so we can identify any concerns they may have and develop a collaborative plan to support them.”
Read Sue’s full article in the latest issue of NZTC’s fully-refereed early childhood education e-journal He Kupu.