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Both parents and children need buffers from the stress caused by change. The best buffer is talking with someone who understands what you are experiencing.
Children need more. They want consistency, safety and predictability in their environment. They want to be with adults who understand their world.
Society has developed many rituals to reinforce feelings of consistency and safety. These rituals can help families and individuals through transitions and prepare for upcoming change.
Rituals help us gain perspective. As our children encounter new challenges, we need to help them understand what lies ahead.
The important thing to remember is that challenges have a positive side. By working through them with your child, you develop a "language" and experience base for dealing with new emotions and life events.
If a problem is new for you, too, it helps for your children to see you turning to other resources for help-friends, relatives, books, professionals or support groups. You teach important life skills and demonstrate how to reach out for support and solve problems.
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Print Life's Difficult Changes Parenting Guide (PDF, 22K)
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