Our Thriving Children

Planting the seeds for lifelong success

The Kids are Alright, But They Don’t Like Change

Transitions are part of life, but hard for young children to handle. The reasons why include immature brain development and lack of time sense. Every time we help our children through a transition we are laying the foundation for flexibility, planning, compromise and cooperation. All part of becoming independent. Read More


You've got good insight and advice, but you've missed something that I felt was key when my 3 kids were younger: validation.

It made a difference when my kids felt understood and not just bossed around. They didn't have to 'like' whatever the transition was. Sometimes I'd tell them I didn't like the transition much myself, but we had to do it. That way we'd end up allies, dealing with the transition together, rather treating each other as opponents.

empathy and support

You are right that children need to be understood. This is why I emphasize supporting children and understanding what their needs are as a starting place. That gives them both validation and empathy. Saying something like, "You may not like this" or "I know this is hard" gives them validation while helping them adjust to the change. Thanks for your comment.

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Tovah Klein, Ph.D., is the director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and an Associate Professor of Psychology. 


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