Humans thrive on habits; it's ingrained in our DNA. It's to our evolutionary advantage not to change. Habits allow us to use less of our thinking power, they keep us safe and they preserve physical energy. We're all resistant to change on some level, so it shouldn't be surprising that children oftentimes have difficulties making transitions.
While triggers that result in meltdowns can be grossly exacerbated in kids with ADHD, sensory issues, developmental delays or those on the autism spectrum, most kids find transitions difficult. Asking a child who's engrossed in an activity to stop then and there to move on to another activity - oftentimes a less desirable one such as cleaning up or having a bath - can be akin to petting the belly of a cat. At minimum, you'll be met with some resistance; at their worst, children who aren't prepared for transitions will lash out physically.
When kids are overwhelmed by their emotions, no one wins and the detriment is to everyone. For the parents, it creates feelings of frustration and guilt, for other members of the family, it can create an environment that feels insecure and even scary, and for the child having the meltdown, it's ultimately not constructive. And while meltdowns can happen in any family dynamic, they're especially damaging in neurodivergent children because they're difficult to get back under control.
Shop our selection of time management and transitioning tools for young children, tweens and teens. These products are designed to help children manage time, understand the concept of "time left" and ease into other tasks without unnecessary resistance. Time management and proper transition are critical life skills every child needs in order to reach his or her full potential. Learning how to transition won't make your family's life easier today, it'll lay the foundation for managing time at school or at work later.
Teach your child how to share activities or toys, how to gracefully move on from an activity and how to respect others' time with this selection of tools today.
It's important to set achievable and realistic goals for your child and family. Learn some additional tips on how to avoid transition meltdowns when things are less predictable, such as during the holidays.