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What Constitutes a Big Change?

| Cathy Bachman |

by Catherine Mathews

For children any change in their routine can be upsetting. The younger the child the more difficult it can be to deal with any changes. Our Guides really appreciate when families share this information with them so we can be as supportive of the child and their needs. Often times parents are surprised at what constitutes a big change for their children so here is a good list to go by:

Every Child:

Separation or Divorce

A parent dating someone new

A parent becoming engaged or getting married

A parent going out of town

A parent coming home from out of town

In split households – a change in who will pick up the child

Prolonged family illness or a major medical diagnosis (grandparents and close family members included)

A family member or pet dying (grandparents and close relatives included)

Moving to a new home

An upcoming vacation

A change in extracurricular activities (includes the addition of tutors)

An upcoming change in schooling plans

Any addition or change to the child’s care team (nannies, babysitters, etc.)

Any illness the child has experienced

Infants and Toddlers

Any time a child’s sleep routine has altered

Any time a child’s bowel movement routine has altered


Family illness (this can make a lot of difference to a child’s day)


Changes in the food routine of the child

Early Childhood Students

The loss of a favorite blanket or toy

A forgotten school item or rest time item

A change in the child’s sleep routine

Any event that was particularly hard for the child such as vaccinations, doctor appointments, or being scared by a movie

A friend or family member moving away

A family member or pet getting sick or having an accident (grandparents and close relatives included)