From the tender ages of 12 weeks and 8 weeks old, respectively, Anna and Mckenzie have been cared for by two of our good friends who have loved them as well as any parent could hope for when they leave their children to go to work.
When my husband and I decided that my commute was too far, we made the difficult decision to move them to a daycare closer to where we live.
And as the day came nearer, my heart was heavy with the knowledge that our sensitive Anna would have to say “see ya later” to the kids she has known for as long as she can remember.
And so this question has had my brain tied in knots:
“How can I help my sweet, sensitive girl thrive as she changes to a new daycare?”
You see, I struggle… and I mean struggle with change. I have zero desire to see my girls hurt like my heart hurts every time there is a change in their little lives.
I also know that great leaders – great people – are resilient in the face of change and adversity and I want to start them young in being equipped to handle change well.
Did you know that those who thrive in college tend to be the ones who have moved time and time again? Whose parents have not shielded their kids from change, but have taught their kids to embrace it?
These are some of the things we are doing to help our kids manage this change well:
1. Focus on the GAIN:
It is my tendency to focus on all that I am losing. That is why my heart breaks every time our life changes, even in good ways.
With this daycare change, I share with Anna that she will make friends who will be going to her school, and will see kids from daycare at our church. I ask her each day what she looks forward to and who she wants to play with today.
We are focusing more on what we will GAIN than on what we are losing.
2. Be Grateful:
Gratitude improves a multitude of situations. In this case, it does us well to say THANK YOU to those who have so well-loved our kids during the first tender moments of their lives.
We want our girls to hear us being grateful for one season of life while looking forward to gaining new blessings in the next season.
3. Be Patient:
My Anna’s heart is cautious and sensitive. During this change, she doesn’t need me to scold her for crying in situations where her whininess seems unnecessary. She needs my kindness and understanding.
We have been a little extra patient with our oldest in particular without allowing her to lose her respect and kindness for others.
We giggle at her sweetness and know that she does not typically weep over these things, and so we remind her kindly to ask us for help as we pick up one shoe to offer our hand.
We give her hugs and snuggles when she wants them and make our home as steady and emotionally safe as possible.
I learned a little more about the importance of injecting kindness in my parenting from Kara Tippetts, who wrote a beautiful book called The Hardest Peace, from which you too can learn! (Note: This is an affiliate link and I still highly recommend this book! Check out my full disclosure here).
In the scheme of life, this change to a new daycare is such a tiny thing, but as with all life lessons, learning starts young. Just because I struggle with change doesn’t mean my children have to.
And so we will focus on the gain, be grateful for the past, and give our children space and kindness as they adjust to something new.
How do you shepherd your kids through life change?