The Stress of Change

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Kidz Newz no. 132 – 25th March 2014

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The Stress of Change

I recently moved house and as many of you will know, it is a pretty stressful experience. It was especially so for our two cats who were beside themselves for the first week and only just settling in now. I will spare you the gruesome details of the trip to the new house but they were obviously scared out of their wits.

Young children, too, are wary of change and often respond in a similar way to my cats. I remember when my eldest child was going from pre-primary to transition (they have four intakes per year in the Northern Territory – or at least they did then – and could spend up to a year in transition to year one). My son found it altogether too traumatic because he was not going to a primary school attached to his pre-primary so he didn’t know anyone. He had only just turned five. Furthermore, it was a full day whereas pre-primary had been half-days. To cut a long story short, he ended up going back to pre-primary where the teacher organised special activities for him at his cognitive level because it was only the social and emotional aspect that he couldn’t deal with – all those big, rough, loud kids in the playground! Yikes! Interestingly, when we started back at pre-primary, lo and behold, his two best friends were also there! Both were also traumatised by starting school but for very different reasons. One had experienced the separation of his parents during the school holidays and going to live at different houses and all the changes and friction going on was too much for this sensitive little soul. The other child had contracted a virus which left him with temporary Bell’s Palsy so the muscles around his face were effectively paralysed. He thought the other children would make fun of him so he was too scared to go to school.

By the end of the term those three little boys were ready to go to ‘Big School’ which they then happily did. The teachers had all been sensitive to the emotional needs of those children, putting those needs first. Any lagging behind that may have occurred was quickly remedied. What was most important was that their very real concerns were listened to and so they were not ‘turned off’ school.

We often fail to consider what children are going through in their private lives, often with disastrous consequences. I believe if there is a solution to a problem, why not take it? The principal at my son’s school thought my son going back to pre-primary was a retrograde step, but he didn’t know my child. I did. He got over it when he realised what a happy chappy my son was the following term, as opposed to how he had been at his first encounter. Watching your child go from a confident, happy child who loves school to one who cries at the thought of it to a point of stomach upsets is very distressing for a parent. Why persist? We need to find solutions. As teachers of young children, we do need to be sensitive to their very real needs. How can they learn when they are so stressed?

Mad March Half Price Sale! Below Cost!

I am bursting at the seams at my new house and need to clear some stock but be quick as this is a March only sale – you only have a week! Please email me directly at to get these specials. Closes 31st March. Don’t be an April Fool and leave it too late.

Kidz-Fiz-Biz Multicultural book/CDs – normally $85.00 – now $42.50!

Kidz-Fiz-Biz Scarf Magic Pack – normally $55.00 – now $27.50!

Kidz-Fiz-Biz Scarf Magic DVD – normally $27.50 – now $13.75!

Kidz-Fiz-Biz Let’s Get Physical DVD – normally $49.50 – now $24.75!

Help Your Child to Learn Book – normally $30.00 – now $15.00!

Help Your Class to Learn Book – normally $30.00 – now $15.00!

What My Favourite Teacher Taught Me Book 3 – normally $27.50 – now $13.75!

Just for Kids CDs – normally $55.00 – now $27.50!

Calm Kids Book – normally $29.50 – now $14.75!

Berty Button Gets A Team Book – normally $17.95 – now $9.00

Check the website for details on any of these resources –

Quotes of the Week

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
Benjamin Spock


NOBODY got this right! I am reposting this cartoon with translation. Sorry but competition is over.

Straya Day … (Australia Day)
1. Flags – Put flags on your car
2. Buy beers – If I was you I’d stock up a couple of days early
3. Get Ice – Best have a cold esky
4. Get a Front Row Seat
5. Turn Your Radio To FM and Turn the Sound Up Loud
6. Don’t Forget to Buy Hot Pies. Have Plenty to Eat – I didn’t have any breakfast
7. Watch the Fireworks When the Sun Goes Down – Magic – It’s Beautiful – Absolutely Fabulous
8. Then Try And Drive Home – Get out you mug! Come on, come on!


Some comments from the recent ASME Summer School 2014 –

Great for early childhood;
Could be good for my playgroup;
I use it and love it;
Good interactive activities for younger children;
Great music;
Excellent session

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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