Change is part of life and there are ways to help us deal with it
Change is with us from the day we are born and change is all around us every day – but that doesn’t mean change is easy and Healthy Harold is here to help kids deal with it when it happens
READING LEVEL: GREEN
OK, so you are probably wondering why you are reading all about change when grown-ups usually help handle all of the big changes in your life. Well, change is actually all around us. Whether it is the change of season from winter to spring, change of favourite song, or it may even be a change of friendships or school if you move house or are going to high school next year.
Change is something that affects everybody, but we don’t all experience or feel change in the same way, which is why we sometimes need grown-ups to help us.
Some people are as “cool as a cucumber” and nothing worries them even if the changes are pretty big. Other people can be as “jumpy as a kangaroo” and can be affected by even the slightest changes.
So, what can you do if you are faced with some changes, and you’re not sure what to do?
First, I think it’s important to know that young people are not always physically or mentally ready to deal with changes. That’s because young peoples’ brains are still growing, and that’s awesome and so interesting.
The back part of your brain is all about survival and keeping us alive, the middle of your brain controls your emotions, and the front of your brain also known as the prefrontal cortex is still developing affecting your thoughts, big decisions, actions and emotions.
Your brain can react to situations in different ways, depending on how you deal with change or stress. The fight or flight response is an automatic body reaction to an event when the brain thinks the body may be in danger. The awareness of a potential threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that makes the heart beat faster so that it sends blood quickly to the different body parts that might need it. It prepares the body to fight, flee or freeze.
Brains are very important organs, but they don’t always deal with stress or change in the same way.
Sometimes kids need to ask for help from a trusted adult when they feel stressed, changes get hard to manage, become overwhelmed, or it is just too hard to think when we are faced with a tough situation or decision.
It’s important for kids to know that it is OK to seek or ask for help from an adult they trust. That may be a parent or carer, grandparent, aunt or uncle, teacher, neighbour or even an older brother or sister.
Change can sometimes be hard or make you worry, but you don’t have to do it alone.
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