Helping Your Child Adjust to a New School
If your family has moved over the summer, chances are your child is going to be attending a new school. This can be challenging, since your child will have to make new friends, meet new teachers, and adjust to different expectations. It can be hard to know how to best help your child during this transitional period. While every child is different and may need different types of support, here are a few general tips on how to help your child adjust to a new school.
Keep Open Communication
Allow your child to express their nervousness and uncertainty, and take the time to talk it through with them. Airing out those worries can help make them seem less daunting. Throughout the whole transitional phase, keep checking on your child, asking them what is good and what is hard. Ask your child how you can help them during this time. By keeping communication open, you will better understand your child’s needs and they will have someone with whom they can confide.
Talk to Teachers About Your Concerns
As you discuss your worries with your child’s teacher, ask for feedback and suggestions. The teacher has likely seen lots of new kids coming into their classroom, and they may have some advice for how to best help your child adjust. Furthermore, it clues the teacher in on the concerns you and your child may have and will better allow them to look out for your child.
Talk to Fellow Parents
By getting to know new neighbors or by joining the PTA, you may find families in the same situation as yours. This can provide you with some support and validation for your feelings during this time, and it can also help you learn about other new kids that your child may want to befriend. By realizing there are other new kids, your child may feel better knowing they are not alone.
Focus on New Friends
While your child might be itching for a playdate with their old friends, you may want to hold off planning it for a short while. Allow your child the opportunity to really get to know their new school and make new connections. By immediately setting up playdates with old friends, your child may be less inclined to meet new people at school and may be stuck missing their old school.
Spend Time with Your Child
Take the time to show your child that they are loved and they are not alone. You could join them in playing with toys, or you could take them on outings to the museum or aquarium. You can also take your child to the local playground—furthermore, they might be able to meet some new friends while you’re there! By spending time with your child, not only will the two of you grow closer, but your child won’t feel so alone even if they’re in a new school.
Moving to a new school can be difficult, but things will get better overtime and will settle into a new status quo. By giving your child some extra love and support during this time, you’ll be able to help them transition into their new environment.
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