Children experience many transitions: these are changes which can raise various feelings and affect their lives in many ways. Some of them imply a physical movement from one position to another, some are connected to the child or young person’ emotions.
The first physical transition in children’s life is when they start nursery and their routine’ environment changes with new people coming into their lives. Similar transitions happen again when the child starts primary school and later secondary education. Also, migrate from a country to another can be considered a physical transition. This can be exciting for a child but very stressful for another, as migration may imply the possibility to lose friendships and start a new school, learn a new language and understand new habits and culture. Children may eventually feel different to others and sometime the feelings can be very overwhelming to handle.
Some transitions are emotional and come from life’s experiences. For example, the loss of a carer or a family member may cause distress. A child who is experiencing an emotional transition may show anger, frustration, sadness or even aggression. Another emotional transition is represented by a divorce or a family breakdown. Often children may think it’s their fault if their mum and dad are not together anymore. They may begin to hate themselves and they may experience a loss in appetite or sleeping disorders.
Some transitions are the result of changes in the body due to physical growth: these are physiological. In fact, when a young adult is reaching puberty there are changes on the body (due to hormonal changes) but also in thoughts and emotions. Puberty changes the way they look at their own body: they might find it somehow awkward and this will result in feeling ashamed and losing self-confidence. Adolescents start to think in a different way about the surrounding world, and having stable friendships becomes very important in their social lives replacing the role of family. Young adults experience strong waving emotions and may challenge continuously parent’s boundaries and control.
Other transactions represent the shift between key stages at school and for this reason are known as
intellectual transitions. When leaving the nursery and starting school, children face a major transaction from a learning experience through play into the National Curriculum with more formal ways of learning. Every time they face a new key stage the academic requirements are higher and higher as they go forward in the formal education. Leaving school and later starting a job or university is another absolutely different situation.

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