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Coping with Change

by Roslyn Duffy
September/October 2010
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/coping-with-change/5019596/


Meghan has lived all of her three-and-a-half years in a one-bedroom apartment with her mom in downtown Chicago. Next week they are moving to a small cottage with its own yard and even a swing set! Meghan is very excited. So, why has she suddenly begun hitting children at child care? This isn’t like her!

When Elias turned four, he transferred into the ‘big kids’ pre-k classroom, which he’d been begging to join. His parents were confident he would flourish. However, within a week he was having daily toileting accidents. What was going on?

Peggy and Sari have been best friends from the day they met in preschool as two year olds. Now, at five, Sari’s family is moving to another city. But something is wrong. Instead of playing, Sari and Peggy fight all day long. What has gone wrong?


Only obvious from the outside

When laid out like this, the connection between misbehavior and a move, a change of classroom, or leaving a friend behind seems obvious. However, that connection isn’t always clear. Though the responses may be ‘common’ and the situations ‘typical,’ children’s emotions do not feel that way to them. Unfamiliar feelings of sadness, fear, and loss are ‘acted out’ as aggression, ...

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