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Responding to change

To remind children that while change is often beyond our control, we can control our response to it, and to suggest three ways of doing this (SEAL theme 7: Changes).

by Helen Redfern

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To remind children that while change is often beyond our control, we can control our response to it, and to suggest three ways of doing this (SEAL theme 7: Changes).

Preparation and materials

  • Three readers.


  1. Change happens. Change is inevitable. Change takes place whether we like it or not. Some changes are welcome. Some are not.

    Change happens all around us in the natural world all the time. The seasons change. Our gardens change. Caterpillars change into butterflies. Tadpoles change into frogs.

    Change happens in the world of science and technology day by day. When I was a child, we didn’t have mobile phones. We didn’t have computers in our own homes. Even in my lifetime, the world has changed beyond recognition.

    Change happens in our own lives, too. We are all born as tiny babies. We grow and learn to walk, talk and feed ourselves. We grow teeth; we grow hair. We become children and keep growing and learning new things.
  2. Here are three children facing change in their lives.

    Reader 1  My mum is going to have a new baby very soon. She’s been growing bigger and bigger and the baby is nearly ready to be born.

    Reader 2  My dad’s got a new job in London and we’re going to have to move. We’ll have to find a new house and I’ll have to leave this school and go to a new school.

    Reader 3  My dog Barney died yesterday. He was very old. I can’t remember life without him.
  3. These children can do nothing to stop the change in their lives. The only thing they can control is how they respond. The first thing to do is communicate. Let it out.

    Reader 1  I feel quite excited about the new baby but I’m worried that my mum isn’t going to have time for me any more. What if she loves the new baby more than me? Maybe I should tell my mum how I feel.

    Reader 2  I feel angry that my dad has got this job in London. I don’t want to move house. I don’t want to change schools. I’m scared. I suppose I should tell my dad how I feel.

    Reader 3  I’m so sad that Barney has died. I feel so lonely without him. I want to cry all the time. I’m going to talk to my grandma about it because her dog died last year and she’ll know how I feel.

    So when we face change in our lives, it’s important to communicate. Find someone to talk to about how you feel. Let it out.
  4.  The second thing to do is to cooperate with the change. Often our natural reaction is to fight and resist the change. But it’s often better to try to make it work.

    Reader 1  I’ve got a great book about having a new baby and am reading it to learn more about how to help when the baby arrives. Mum has let me help her choose new outfits and toys and we’re deciding how to decorate the nursery.

    Reader 2  I’ve been finding out about London on the Internet and am writing a list of places I want to visit when we move there. My friends and I are going to keep in touch on the Internet and by text.

    Reader 3  I’ve made a special book of photos and descriptions of Barney so that I’ll never forget him. My mum says that I can get a new dog when I’m ready.

    So when we face change in our lives, it’s important to cooperate. Find ways to make the best of the change that’s happening. Make it work.
  5.  The third thing to do is to celebrate the change. When we have communicated how we feel about the change and tried to cooperate with the change, it can often turn out to be a good thing. We can then celebrate the good that’s come out of the change.

    Reader 1  My baby sister is now six months old. I love her so much. I really enjoy helping and my mum is proud of me.

    Reader 2  I moved to London six months ago and although it’s been strange, I’m now beginning to settle in and like my new school. We go out to a different museum every weekend and there’s so much else to see and do here.

    Reader 3  Barney died six months ago and I keep the special book I made about him next to my bed. I now have a new puppy who’s gorgeous. I can use all the experience I had looking after Barney to look after my new puppy well.

    So when we face change in our lives, it’s important to celebrate. Recognize the positive outcomes as a result of the change. See the good.

Time for reflection

Let us now each take time to think about a change that’s happening in our own lives.

Who can you communicate with about how you feel?
How can you cooperate with the change and not resist it?
In what ways can you celebrate the change?

Change happens.
How you respond to change is up to you.


‘You shall go out with joy’ (Come and Praise, 98)

Publication date: July 2011   (Vol.13 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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