Describe with examples how transitions may affect children and young people’s behavior and development

Transitions of all kinds will almost certainly have some effect on children and young people and many are an inevitable part of a young person’s development. Sometimes this effect could be a positive one, but often the effect can be far reaching throughout interlinking aspects of a child’s development.

If a child has moved to a different area or a different town altogether, this may bring into play a number of transitions that might affect the child. This scenario may also include separation from friends, having to begin a new school and start all over again socially. These kinds of transitions that not all children will face, might create a great deal of stress stress for the child and can have far-reaching effects on children’s emotional well-being and academic achievements. This would present many challenges for a child to overcome and may affect their emotional, social and intellectual development. Their behavior may change and they may become withdrawn and emotional. They may regress academically as they struggle to catch up or adjust to a different curriculum or teaching method.

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Divorce or parental separation is not something all children face but when a child does, it potentially may have a huge impact on their development socially, emotionally and behaviourally. This change in home circumstances will probably leave the child feeling confused as to why this has happened and how things will change in the future. It may cause them to become anxious and/or frustrated because they can’t see one of their parents as much as previously, or as is often the case, feeling as though somehow it is all their fault. They might become withdrawn or argumentative and their behaviour may change and become uncharacteristic.

One type of inevitable transition children and young people make is moving from one type of organization to another, for example nursery to school, onto secondary school then onto college or university. This can bring about feelings of insecurity and fears of the unknown and may impact their development socially as the security of familiar surroundings have been removed and a new environment, friends, teachers, routine is challenging them.

It is important to understand and be aware of the transitions that may be challenging our students at any stage of their development. Further more offering help where needed and encouraging positive supportive relationships with young people and children will help them navigate their way and help to minimise disruption or trauma that they may be having to contend with, and this in turn would hopefully minimize any negative effects on their development.

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