Raising Kids That Adapt to Change

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Change is inevitable—and because of that, it’s important for us to teach our loved ones how to deal with change. While some changes will be bigger than others, all can be scary to a child or teenager. Kids thrive with structure and stability, and changes can cause them to lose that sense of stability and lead to feeling overwhelmed.

So how can we help our children feel more secure and in control of their environment—even when there are big changes?

Audience Questions

Julie B. Cullen, LICSW, EdM, explains methods of providing extra support when kids need it most, shares ways to make change easier to understand and adjust to, and answers audience questions about navigating change that both children and parents can benefit from.

  • Why is it so important for our kids to be able to adapt to change?
  • Why doesn’t my kid like change?
  • Oftentimes there’s a parallel made between control, the what-if/catastrophizing, and anxiety. Is there a link between anxiety in kids and kids being change-resistant?
  • How can parents help address anxiety in kids to help lower that stress response and making them less change-averse?
  • At what age can we start introducing transitions and flexibility in schedules and getting our kids involved and informed in them?
  • What are some of the signs that my child is not taking change well? Do these signs look different depending on their age?
  • How can parents or caretakers turn a talk about change into a dialogue?
  • What can we do to support our loved ones if we ourselves are change-averse? How can we start building change-accepting behaviors as adults?
  • Do you have advice for when multiple significant changes have caught up with a preteen in the form of withdrawal, school problems, etc.? Is it ever “too late to close the barn door?”

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


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About Julie B. Cullen

Julie B. Cullen is a licensed social worker with over a decade of experience providing individual, group, and family therapy for children, adolescents, and their families.

Julie has intensive training in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and has worked extensively with clinicians from The Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, using their ARC model of trauma treatment.

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