Bereavement – This can be a very traumatic time for a child or young person, bereavement can affect concentration, memory and learning.
New sibling – A challenging transition for young children, it may affect the child’s behavior as they may act out, wanting to gain attention.
Parental Separation – This can affect children and young people in many different ways and must be dealt with in accordingly in a sensitive manner.
Moving Home – Moving house can be a big upheaval, it can affect the child or young person because they are being taken out of their safe and familiar environment.
Illness or Injury – Whether it be the child/young person directly affected or a family member, either way the child may need help dealing with the change of circumstances.
Divorce – This is a difficult period for a child or young person, they may be affected in many different ways and must have endless emotional support.
Taken into the care system – This can be a difficult transition where the school and social services must work together to make the process run as smoothly as possible for a young child.
Abuse & Neglect – Abuse and neglect can affect all areas of development. Children and young people are affected by abuse in different ways, outcomes of abuse vary.
Moving countries – Moving countries can have a negative affect upon children and young people, socially, academically and emotionally.
These types of transitions are generally unplanned, or occur with little or no warning and in turn can be damaging if not responded and dealt with in the correct way. These unplanned transitions will also however affect children and young people in different ways.
Some children and young people may also experience transitions such as:
The introduction of Step Siblings
Change of carer
Parental change of partner
It is a known fact that all children and young people are faced with transitions, although some may be affected positively and some negatively. When children are faced with planned or unplanned transitions they may experience feelings such as anger, guilt, rejection and sadness. Other ways that children and young people may show the affects made by transition i.e. attention seeking behavior, friendship/peer problems, and becoming withdrawn and quiet or displaying uncharacteristic habits.
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Children and young people moving from primary to secondary high school may find it hard to adjust to being taught more formally. They are suddenly expected to study a wider variety of subjects, to take on more responsibility and sometimes make a new circle of friendships. Involving changes like learning more and having less free time. For most children and young people going through a transition such as moving school can have an impact on their learning and achievements, sometimes affecting them academically. Suddenly a child is removed from their “comfort zone” and taken away from a familiar environment, from their friends and teachers etc. The child is completely thrown of track and put into a new environment which can be extremely difficult for a child or young person to adjust too. It can have affects on a child’s learning, self esteem and sometimes resulting in them no longer wanting to go to school, although some children and young people do adapt well to this type of transition. For example when I was attending secondary school a young girl moved from her original school due to her parents moving country, when she began attending my secondary school she settled in and adapted very well, proving to be quite popular with her peers. It appeared to have a positive affect on the young girl but then suddenly her peers turned against her, this then resulted in the young girl becoming a victim of torment and bullying. She became unhappy, quiet, withdrawn and reserved. Her parents decided it was in their child’s best interests to change schools once again, where she began to regain her self esteem and confidence which was extremely affected by the bullying, changing schools and moving countries. Fortunately the next change of school had a positive affect on the young girl’s education and learning which dramatically improved. She began making friends, displayed more confidence and began to enjoy attending school again. Moving school can have a negative and/or positive impact on a child or young person’s behavior and development. In the beginning a change of school proved to have a negative affect upon the young girl but fortunately the second period of moving school resulted in having a positive affect upon her, improving her behavior and development. Therefore I feel it is important that a child’s parents consider their child’s happiness before making this choice, due to the positive and negative affects it can have on a child and young person. Although changing schools unfortunately cannot always be prevented due to unforeseen circumstances in life.
Parental Change Of Partner – A parent introducing their new partner to their child can also be a challenging and difficult time. It can result in affecting a child or young person’s behavior and development. For example when I was a teenager my mother introduced me to her new long term partner which at the time felt like a stranger was trying to replace my father, I also felt that her new partner was taking away my mothers attention. Suddenly a new authoritative figure was brought into the family. From my personal experience it had a bad affect on my behavior and development as I began to misbehave, smoke, drink and act out because I was extremely angry inside and wanted to regain my mothers attention which I no longer felt I had. I became an angry, depressed, withdrawn and isolated teenager, clearly displaying signs that I was negatively affected, no longer being my usual bubbly, happy self. My education also began suffering because of this transition as I could no longer concentrate in school. However this does not always have a negative impact on children and young people but it does need to be handled cautiously and sensitively. It can be a very challenging time for the child and young person but also for the parents, family members and anybody else involved.