by Jassica Mendez
Major life changes often require a period of adjusting to new circumstances. This is true for adults, but even more so for kids. As adults, we know why we make certain life-changing decisions. That makes us motivated and enthusiastic about this new chapter in our lives. On the other hand, children are rarely active participants in the decision-making process. For that reason, transitioning to another school is often a challenging and difficult period. As we all know, school is an important aspect of every child’s life. It’s the place where they learn and play, make new friends, and fall in love for the first time. Although the change is for the better, your child will certainly need some extra love and support during this time. With that in mind, here are some valuable tips to help your child adjust when moving to a new school.
Talk openly with your kid about changing schools
Children often don’t understand why the change is necessary or important. Instead, they find comfort in routine and familiarity. That’s why it’s important to discuss matters openly in advance.
Talk to your child about the reasons for moving, what they can expect at their new school, or even home and town. This will give them precious time to come to terms with the change and start adjusting. Of course, be ready for their reaction, whether positive or negative, as well as for a ton of questions.
Include your child actively in the process
What causes a lot of stress and anxiety when moving to a new school is the fear of losing control. Children, in general, don’t have much control over their environment or get to make a lot of ‘important’ decisions.
To help them gain some control back, let them make as many decisions as they can and participate actively during the change. If possible, let your child choose between two schools in the same neighborhood. Or, if that is not possible, let them choose their new school supplies and outfits. In this way, kids will feel involved and valued. Knowing that their voice is heard will help them build confidence and self-esteem.
Cherish the old but be enthusiastic about the new
Every child matters, and their opinions and feelings have value and importance. The same goes for their memories and affection for the old school. Help them stay in touch with their old friends and teachers and cherish their previous experiences.
However, it’s crucial to have a positive attitude toward the new school and focus on creating new experiences there. Children are experts in picking up clues from our words and behavior. If you’re happy and enthusiastic about the change, they’ll likely follow suit.
Visit the school if possible
Another excellent way to help your child adjust when moving to a new school is to visit it beforehand. Go together through the school building and grounds and focus on everything great about it.
If possible, visit during the school session so your kid can meet the principal, their new teacher, and maybe even their new schoolmates. That way, your child won’t feel lost on their first day there. Instead, it will be easier for them to find their way around, and they’ll know what to expect.
Help your child make friends
For most kids, the scariest thing about the new school is starting all over with making friends. Depending on your kid’s age, there are ways you can help them to connect with their peers faster. Of course, the last thing you want to do is try to get dates for your teenager!
However, when it comes to younger kids, organizing a playdate is an excellent idea. You can also encourage your child to choose an extracurricular activity they love. It will enable them to connect to other kids over shared interests. Additionally, if you’re moving to a new home, once you settle, you can throw a housewarming party for your child’s school friends!
Establish the new routine
Changing routines can be especially stressful for a child. That’s why you should work on establishing a new one as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, try to incorporate as many elements of the old one as possible. For example, maintaining a healthy lifestyle while getting up a bit earlier to catch the school bus is an excellent idea.
Be understanding and supportive
Naturally, your child will need a lot of your love and support during this period. Lend them an ear whenever they need it and acknowledge their feelings. Knowing that they have you at their side at all times will be encouraging.
This is especially important if moving to a new school isn’t the only significant change. For example, if you’ve relocated to a new home in a new city, your child will likely need more time to settle in. Moving with kids is already stressful in itself. However, if you discuss everything openly with your kids, it can turn into a well-organized and easy process. Let them arrange their belongings and decorate their room, and soon they’ll also enjoy their new home.
Plan some quality time at home
Of course, nothing can compare with precious family time. With a new school and challenges there, your kid will appreciate the safety net the home provides. Instead of focusing strictly on school matters, plan some time to indulge in activities you all enjoy as a family. Whether it’s a movie night or baking everyone’s favorite cookies together, your child will love it. It will provide a perfect opportunity to relax and recharge batteries. In this way, you’ll connect old routines and traditions with the new environment.
Give your child enough time to settle at their new school
Last but not least, be realistic with your expectations. Each child is different and is likely to have different attitudes and challenges. Be patient and let your child find their own feet at their own pace. Although you can’t adapt to their new school for them, you can help them along the way. Follow these tips to help your child adjust when moving to a new school, and soon it will feel as welcoming and comfortable as the old one.
Meta description: Moving to a new school is often a stressful and challenging period for children. Learn more on how to help your child adjust well!