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How To Support Your Child's Transition To A New School

by on 04/04/2023 1562

Children may struggle during a move, as with any other significant change in their life. This is particularly true if the relocation involves a change in the schools. Since children seek comfort in consistency and familiarity, new neighbours, a new bedroom, and a new school can bring stress and worry.

There are steps you can take to speed up the transition process and support children in adjusting to a new school more efficiently. It is your responsibility as a parent to assist with the adjustment as much as you can.

If you're moving soon or have recently moved in, use the following ideas to help your child feel less anxious about starting a new school.


Let yourself and your child feel the pressure

This specific approach can seem contradictory, but by admitting the pressure you as a parent and your kids are feeling, you'll be able to get through it much more quickly. Additionally, this is a great chance for you to sit down and discuss with your child about their concerns, their anxieties, and what can be done to make them feel more at ease in their new environment.


Speak to the teachers about your concerns

 

How To Support Your Child's Transition To A New School


Set up a meeting on your own to discuss the transition with your child's new teacher and principal. In the first few weeks of school, they can assign partners for projects rather than letting children choose their own partners, or they can introduce your child to a peer who is also a newcomer to the school.

Additionally, they can check in on your child during the day to see how they are doing and provide assistance when required. Your child will adapt more easily if they have local assistance, and you will feel more at ease.


Maintain open communications with your child

 

How To Support Your Child's Transition To A New School


Simply interacting with your child is the easiest approach to determine when they are doing well. You can tell if your kids are adjusting well or struggling if you keep an eye on what they're doing. This necessitates consistent discussion about your child's emotions. You and your children will quickly feel at ease in your new surroundings.


Organise a tour of the new school

Make a visit before the first day of school to assist them in getting acclimated. Here are some things that you can do during the tour:


  • Meet the principal and new teachers
  • Get a sense of where facilities like the canteen and gymnasium are located
  • Walk around the school grounds

 

In this manner, students will be prepared for the first day by having a general concept of what to anticipate. If possible, try to visit during the school day so your child can experience for themselves how it will be. They'll still find the first few days to be a little intimidating, but at least the essentials will be more effortless.


Arrange playdates

 

How To Support Your Child's Transition To A New School


See if you can set up a play session with your child's classmates by talking to other parents. Your child can be more at ease around other children at their new school while having fun, exercising, and releasing tension by spending a few hours in the playground.


Be patient about reuniting with old friends

Enabling your child to keep in touch with former school peers and classmates is important. But wait a while before inviting over friends from their old school.

Before your child meets up with old classmates, give them time to settle in and feel at ease. This will inspire them to take charge of their new school. Waiting can also encourage your child to explore new things without reverting too quickly to the familiar.


Maintain your child's old routine

 

How To Support Your Child's Transition To A New School


When attending their previous school, did your child have a specific morning ritual? If so, make an effort to maintain the same schedule at their new school. Children are comforted by routine and familiarity, which helps them adjust to change.


Prioritise a healthy sleeping schedule

 

How To Support Your Child's Transition To A New School


Your child may be finding it difficult to get the rest they require during the stressful period of transferring to a new school. Children between the ages of 6 and 13 require nine to eleven hours of sleep per night. With enough rest, your child will be able to handle new events and healthily deal with stress.

You can help them relax before bedtime by doing the following:


  • Reduce screen time before bed
  • Establish a bedtime ritual
  • Discourage your child from doing anything too stimulating right before bedtime

 

Additionally, ensure they engage in at least 60 minutes of daily activity, and avoid caffeine consumption. Finally, check to see that their bedroom is cold, quiet, and dark. It is ideal to establish a school sleep schedule a week or two before classes begin.


Give your child some control

 

How To Support Your Child's Transition To A New School


Moving to a new home and school can cause a lot of anxiety since it leaves one feeling out of control. One of the hardest things about growing up is how little control you have over your surroundings, which may be made even harder when adjustments are made that your child doesn't agree with or comprehend.

To counteract, give them a chance to decide what to do and have some degree of control over the process. Allow your child to tour each school and choose one if there is a choice on which one to enrol in your new community.

If there is only one school option, empower them in little ways, such as:


  • Choosing their new backpack
  • Picking out new school supplies

 

Your child will learn that their voice and opinions matter no matter how much control you relinquish, giving them stability during an otherwise difficult period.


Avoid setting unrealistic goals

Be understanding of your child's transition. Setting expectations about when or how children should adapt won't help them. Even outgoing children may not settle into a new school straight away. Instead, be there to listen whenever they need you to and realise that settling down takes time.

Children have a limited perspective, so something that might not seem like a big deal to you—such as having trouble navigating their new school or being excluded from a class joke—will feel much bigger to them. Be there for your child, be encouraging, and offer a listening ear.


Significant Times Like These Are Filled With Teachable Moments

 

How To Support Your Child's Transition To A New School


While you can't do it for children, you may assist them in adjusting to a new school. However, keep in mind that things will gradually get better and that this new school will soon be just as comfortable as the previous one.