Moving to a new school can be a very stressful time for children. While making the transition from an old community to a new one, children and their parents go through a gamut of unavoidable changes and their consequences emotionally, physically and relationally. There could be various reasons that a family moves – the change of job, immigrating to a new country, and moving closer to the family; however, the fallout from these life-changing shifts need to be handled with care. Here are a few things that parents can do to help their children adjust to a new school during the first few weeks.
Make It An Adventure – Children love new things but they can be very scared and overwhelmed by the idea of going to a new school and class. Parents can prepare their children for this new phase by buying them new bag packs, lunch boxes and stationery items. Children would be excited to use these belongings in the new school environment. Additionally, parents can explain how exciting it will be, to make new friends. By doing this, parents are strengthening their child’s friendly and cheerful side. Children will then be better prepared to embrace unfamiliar experiences with optimism rather than fear.
Observe And Keep Updated – Changes in the child’s behavior such as separation anxiety, shyness and nonstop chatter is natural. However, parents can be observant that such behavior does not reach extremes. Instead, they can help their child become stable in the new environment. Parents can meet their child’s teacher and stay updated on their progress both academically and socially. Parents can also praise their child’s resilience and capacity for settling into the new school; which can boost the child’s adaptability and social skills.
A Positive Attitude – It’s natural for children to get emotional and anxious as they leave behind something familiar and venture out into the unknown. Parents need to talk to their children daily to inculcate a positive outlook, focusing on all the things their child is doing right and inspiring them to do better. Also, parents need to care for their child’s new routine by going through their timetable and keeping track of their teacher’s feedback. Parents can avoid unnecessary embarrassment by packing their child’s school bag carefully to ensure they’re not forgetting any homework, books or notes.
Safety In Routines – Parents can provide an anchor to their child in case the rapid change of moving to a new school has left their child reeling. Knowing what’s expected at home can be soothing to a child’s troubled emotions.
Making Friends – Friends are the greatest support systems a child can have in school. Although it’s tough to leave behind old friends, a child can be reassured at how wonderful it’s going to be to find new ones. Parents can help their child make new bonds of friendship at school by inviting their child’s classmates for a small snack party over the weekend. Networking with other parents can be one more great way to help their child make more friends.
Being Patient – The latest research says, when starting in a new school, it is possible for children to be withdrawn, more sensitive, uncooperative and not doing as well as expected. However, this will pass as they settle in. Also, school psychologists expect most children to have a hard first six weeks or so. If a child is still struggling and complaining of lack of friends, after six months, then that might be a cause for concern. In that instance, parents can talk to their child’s teacher and the school counselor.
The top international, CBSE and ICSE schools in Bangalore and other metropolitan cities provide new students and their parents with counseling staff that help them navigate their experiences in a new school.
Although parents can expect their children to react negatively to the ups and downs of making new friends, participating in new activities and learning new material, they can also be reassured that it is a phase in every child’s life that some children race through and others toil away at. Most children, however, are capable of adjusting and do just fine, despite the many hurdles faced along the way.