Childhood and Young People

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Different types of transitions and their effects on children and young peoples lives

Transitions are the movement, passages, or changes from one position, state, stage, subject, or concept to another. These changes can be gradual or sudden, and last for deferring period of time.

Children/young people go through various transitions in their lives. How well they cope with stages of transitions depends on their early childhood experiences, and how they were managed at that time. Children and young people who have had multiple transitions often find it harder to settle in and make new friends and relationships. There are many expected transitions which are almost experienced by everyone.For e.g. All babies experience transition when they are weaned on to solid food, progress form crawling to walking, move from needing nappies to toilet trained. All the children experiences transitions when they start Nursery and primary school or move up to secondary school. Young people experiences transition caused by puberty, when they leave home, when they attend college or university, when they start working. Adults also experience expected pattern of transition when they get married, when they have children, Parents separating or divorcing, when they experience illness or death in the family.

Transitions can affect the development of children and young people depending on their individual need and how well they were supported. Transitions can have positive or negative effect on children and young people and can last for longer or shorter period.

Types of transitions

Transition can affect all areas of the development of children and young people:

·Emotional: Personal experiences, such as parents separating, bereavement, entering or leaving care. ·Physical: Moving to a new educational setting, a new home or care setting. ·Intellectual: Moving from nursery to primary school, or primary to secondary school ·Physiological: Puberty or a long-term medical condition.

Transitions young people face
Children and young people can face many types of transition, including: ·Starting nursery
·Illness of a member of the family
·Changing friends
·Starting primary school
·Death of a family member
·Coming out as lesbian or gay
·Starting secondary school
·Separation from parents
·Diagnosis of Illness
·Changing school
·New siblings
·Diagnosis of disability
·Moving house
·Moving through year groups
·Puberty
·New step-parents
·Entering care
·Foster parents
·First exams
·First sexual experience
·Living in a new country
·Change of class teacher
·Change of head teacher
·Movement around school
·Transitions within classes
·Supply teacher
·Living with the illness of a family member

Effect of transition on children and young people

Withdrawal - Children and young people may withdraw from new relationships with other children and with carers, because they do not trust the separation not to happen again.

Disorientation - No sooner have children settle in one place and got to know a carer, they may be uprooted and have to face the same battle again.

A sense of loss - Each time children/young people make a move, they lose their friends they have made and also the attachment they have formed with their carers.

Regression - Reverting to behaviour usually shown by young people e.g. a child may who was previously dry at night may start to wet the bed.

Depression - This may show in a number of ways: sadness, problems with sleeping, crying and lack of appetite.

Separation Anxiety - Children become clingy and need to be near parent or primary care giver to be reassured.

Changes in Behaviour - Young children may have more frequent outbursts of temper and young people may become more aggressive, often shouting and swearing.

Lack of motivation - Children/young people may have difficulty concentrating on school work and become easily distracted....
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