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Helping Parents Cope with Change

If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou

Articles in the popular press with titles such as “Ten Things the Pandemic Has Changed for Good,” illustrate how the coronavirus has made constant change a way of life for adults since last March.

Julie Powers wrote her article on preparing parents for change pre-COVID, but it offers important food-for-thought for this time. (It also serves as the foundation for an Out of the Box Training Kit.) She provides an example of why early educators must be intentional about helping parents cope with change. She writes:

“Katie Johnson brings her 18-month-old son, Bobby, to his child care center on Monday morning. Instead of being greeted by the teacher she knows and trusts, she finds a stranger in the classroom.

"Where is Roxanne?" says Mrs. Johnson.

"Oh, she's moved to the Bear Room. Isn't it exciting! She's always wanted to work with the three year olds," says the stranger.

"And you are . . . "

"Oh, I'm Sally. I guess I haven't met you before. I used to work in the Lamb Room. I've been coming in to cover the teachers' breaks so the children will get to know me. You know me, don't you, Bobby!"

Bobby's center understood that children need preparation for change. Bringing Sally into the classroom helped the children get to know her. The children may have visited Roxanne in her new classroom and the staff may have taken other steps to prepare children for the change. They forgot that Mrs. Johnson also needed preparation for change.”

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