OT Transitioning Tips

As we transition from the winter months to spring, it gives us a chance to think about switching from one thing to another. Transitions can be difficult for children. Ending one thing and beginning something different requires the ability to stop and shift. When a child is doing something they prefer, it can be much more difficult when they need to change over to something they do not like to do.   

To help them with this, we can provide them with some strategies. For example, providing your child with clear expectations prior to asking them to shift will give them time to process what is coming next. Sometimes using a timer is helpful to give them a visual representation of time passing.  

Having them picture themselves making the shift can also help. For example, when it is time to transition from a device to dinner, ask your child to describe what they need to do. For example, your child can say, “I will start by exiting my game, and I should then shut down the device.” Envisioning these steps may help them to make the shift with more ease.  

Quick Tips for Transitioning: 

  • Set clear, concise expectations ahead of time 
  • Help child visualize transition by having them tell you what they will do 
  • Set a timer 5-10 minutes before transitioning and allow child to watch time pass