Helping Kids Deal With Change

Change is hard at any age. So, it’s especially important to teach children how to deal with the everyday changes of life.

Helping Kids Deal With Change

Anytime I work with kids, I try to start with an activity. I find that giving them an opportunity to move, talk, laugh, and collaborate with others makes a great deal of difference. So, when thinking about an activity that would catapult us into a discussion about how to deal with change, I decided to incorporate my love for reading and writing.

Materials Needed:

Markers

Construction paper

2 gifts

Index cards

Poster Paper

Activity:

You will have 12 minutes to write a haiku about change with a partner. A haiku is a poem that consists of only 3 lines and it follows a five seven five syllable pattern. Teammates with the best poem win a prize.

Last minute changes to add after the activity starts:

After 2 minutes have one group switch partners

Once 3 minutes have passed tell someone they can no longer participate and must sit down

After 4 minutes tell another group that they must include the word life in their haiku

When there are only 7 minutes on the timer, tell someone that they must switch partners and be a special guests partner and they can’t win the prize 

After 7 minutes ( at the 5 min mark)tell everyone that something came up and they now only have 2 minutes remaining.

Questions For Discussion:

How did you feel when you saw that you had 7 minutes left, but were randomly told that that was changing to 2 minutes?

What did you feel when you lost the partner you picked? 

When a new rule was added for you, but not everyone else, what thoughts crossed your mind?

What were the benefits of having to be Kevin’s partner, were there any consequences?

How did the unexpected changes affect your completion of the task? 

Our Special Guest’s Haiku:

Change will always be

How we deal is important 

For you and for me

On Change

One constant in life is that everything changes. Our appearance, our desires, our dreams, friendships, everything. How we deal with change influences our daily decisions.

Just like in the activity, some of you had to start over. Another group had to pivot and add a word, all of you had the added pressure of lost time. As a result you either finished the assignment, ran out of time, and or surprised yourself. 

Attitude-wise, some of you became frustrated, others had a whatever happens, happens attitude and a couple of you were determined to complete the task in hopes of winning the prize. 

My point is, your ability to deal with change is a necessary life skill. How you deal with the circumstances of life, a last-minute decision, an abrupt change or loss will be the difference between success and failure.

Change moves us from old to new, safe and secure to unfamiliar and uncertain.

It’s the unfamiliar and the uncertainty that increases anxiety, stresses us out, keeps us in unproductive cycles, and prevents us from pursuing our dreams.

Change can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. 

For Christians I say this because in Jeremiah 29:11God says, For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

If the creator of this whole world and you already knows the plan he has for your life. There is no reason to be anxious or afraid. 

In Job 23:10 “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.

If He tells you ahead of time that in this life there will be tests, the best way to prepare is by praying, trusting him, and moving forward.

When we live with integrity, trust God and acknowledge him in all of our ways, when change happens it won’t overwhelm us.

Philippians 4:6-7 it says…

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

The way I know that change is for my good or that I made the right choice is I experience unexplainable peace.

I hope that when things change, when life zigs and you aren’t sure whether to zag or keep straight you can stop, look at the situation from all angles, and move forward in peace.

A few steps that will help kids deal with change:

  • acknowledge the change or the need for change 
  • Control what you can ( other aspects of life)
  • Identify what scares you about the change- be specific and talk to someone you trust 
  • Focus on the positive- what about the change is good 
  • Take good care of yourself. We do better in all areas of life when we are well-rested, well-fed, and in the right relationship with God.
  • Remember that change is a natural and necessary part of growing, even when it hurts. 

We may not know what the future holds, but God has a history of walking with us, protecting us,  providing for us, being mindful of our cares, and being able to bear the burden of our heartache when change is devastating. Remember that.