Provide ample time to introduce and explain a new activity or an unusual break from the daily routine. This will help your child feel comfortable with the upcoming event and know what to expect before being asked to make the transition.
Talk about the new activity. Look for books or online content that you and your child can read together. Give her the chance to ask lots of questions.
What you can say
“Sofia, after school on Friday, I plan to take you to the county fair. When you get off the bus, you’ll have time for a snack and to play for about 30 minutes before we have to leave.”
“Remember the book we’ve been reading about Ferris wheels? I know you’re really enjoying the book. I think you’re really going to like the ride at the fair. And don’t worry. We’ll be back in plenty of time for you to play with the dog before you have to go to bed.”
Why this will help
Children who have difficulty transitioning from task to task are often anxious about the unexpected. Preparing kids for a change in their routine can reduce that anxiety and help them make the transition successfully.
This kind of preparation can be particularly helpful for kids with attention issues. They need a predictable routine and lots of structure to feel safe and to perform well. Explaining to them ahead of time why there will be a change in the routine will help minimize and hopefully prevent any negative reactions to it.