I have a post today at Natural Parents Network about “Helping Children Settle in New or Temporary Surroundings.”
As parents we try to respect our children in our day-to-day lives and in the choices we make. At home this is a whole lot easier than when you’re on the road, travelling or temporarily find yourself living away from home or with other people, something that happens to the best of us and for a variety of reasons.
We’ve spent a few months living with my family in a different country away from our home while I help in the care of my ill mother, and being away from our home, friends, groups and routines has taught me a lot about children, their adaptability, and how their place of priority up or down the list affects their behaviour.
The first thing, the most important thing, we’ve found, is to create a safe space for your toddler in the new environment. As we walk in to a new place, be it a hotel or a family member’s home, one of my first priorities is to create a hidey-hole. For us that was a computer desk with a large tablecloth draped over it. That’s where Ameli puts the toys she doesn’t want anyone else to play with and stashes her favourite read-to-herself books.