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Helping Children Make Transitions

by Christina Alton, Masami Mizukami, Margaret Banks, Marla Quick, and Linda Dziadul
November/December 2003
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/helping-children-make-transitions/5015438/

Children experience many transitions during the early childhood years, particularly if they are in full day programs. They transition from home to the car or stroller, from the car or stroller to school, from the school hallway to the classroom, from parent or other family member to the teacher or her substitute, from the family to the peer group, from the warmth and familiar home setting to the more institutional school setting, from one set of expectations for behavior to another, from outside to inside and then outside again, from breakfast to playtime and then to nap, and so forth.

Some of these transitions are significant ones, others are much less important yet still critical to the quality of the child’s experience at school. Despite the significance or intensity, transitions can be fun, challenging, scary, distracting, or upsetting to children. In this article, we propose a three-step process for transitions �" all kinds of transitions. Although we give considerable attention to transitioning to school, between teachers or between classrooms, and between settings, most of the characteristics of good transition planning are similar.

The family, the school and teacher, and the child are all connected together and impacted by transitions. Good plans ...

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