111. Navigating Transitions: Insights from Parenting Coach Caroline Griswold on Guiding Kids Back to School

Transitions, although a natural part of growth, can unsettle a child's sense of safety and connection. In this episode, host and transformative communication coach Alejandra Siroka sits down with Caroline Griswold, a leader in the realm of respectful parenting education and coaching. Together, they address the challenges children face during transitions and share tangible strategies for parents to confidently and skillfully support their children.


Transitions, such as returning to school, can challenge a child’s sense of security and belonging. Caroline advocates for early preparation and dialogue, setting the stage with your child for what lies ahead, communicating confidence in the upcoming change, and closely observing your child’s behavior for clues about their feelings towards these changes.


While we wish for transitions to be smooth and comfortable for our children, not all shifts are without turbulence. Children often take longer than adults to adapt to changes, and when they struggle, their emotions and behavior signal their distress. Caroline emphasizes the importance of holding space for upset, tears, and intense feelings, suggesting it can be healing for both children and parents to fully experience big feelings. She further recommends integrating “play listening” into interactions during transitional times. By cultivating an environment of playfulness and laughter, parents can foster connection, alleviate tension, and strengthen bonds.


Alejandra and Caroline recognize that parents, too, are experiencing transitions along with their children. Acknowledging their own emotions about and during transition can empower them to better support their children. In moments of uncertainty or intense feelings about parenting, Caroline's website, fertilegroundparenting.com, stands as a beacon, offering numerous resources, including her insightful weekly email, "The Parenting Pause."



• “Kids tend to weather transitions more slowly than we do as adults. We've had more experience. Of course, this varies kid by kid because every kid is a little bit different. One of the things that we can do always when a transition is coming is to know we need to take it slowly. We can help our kids if we expect that it will take a while for them to get used to whatever the transition is. And it may take longer than we wish it would.” (8:16 | Caroline)

• "Find a way to take care of your heart and your feelings, too, during this time. That will of course help you support your kids more, but also help you tend to the feelings that arise for you." (38:40 | Caroline)  

• "A transition is anything that can challenge a child's sense of safety or connection or both. So anything that sort of gets into their life and makes things feel a little bit wobbly. So that could be, you know, getting a new caregiver, going to a new school or going back to school, even if it's the same school, you know, every school year is a transition." (4:18 | Caroline) 



Connect with Caroline Griswold:

To visit Caroline's website: www.fertilegroundparenting.com

To connect with Caroline over Instagram, visit @fertilegroundparenting

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Podcast Music composed by Gary Lapow: open.spotify.com/artist/1HlMhcNfKIELxYil5mVqD


Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm