6 ways to help your child transition to a New School

Help your child adjust to her new school quickly - Parenting by ZenParent

Summer vacation is almost over and it’s time to buy the new books and uniforms for the new school year. Some of us may have moved our kids to a new school. It is a tough process for children to move from all that is familiar to them into an alien environment. They need to learn everything from scratch, make new friends, get used to a different culture and hope not to get bullied. It can be an emotionally testing time for them. How can we as parents make it easier on our kid?

1. Before School reopens: When you go to buy books for the New Year, take your child along. He may have gone to the school just to give the entrance exam and may not have had a chance to take it all in. Show him around the school so that he becomes a little familiar with the environment. If sports are his “thing” show him the playground and facilities; if he loves science, show him the labs. Talk up the school and avoid voicing any trepidation you might have.

2. Be Available: During the first couple of weeks of school, ensure that you can be there for him. Postpone all business trips for some time so that you can be there for him through the first 1-2 weeks, that are usually the toughest. Apart from being a parent, we would also need to be their friends for a while until they start making friends at the new school.

3. Extra attention: He/she would need to be on top of a lot of things in the first week and he would need some extra hand holding and monitoring. When he is back from school, talk to him about his day, any reminders the teacher may have given, any notes he may brought home to show parents, any permission slips required, additional books to be purchased, extra stationery to be bought etc.  Help him get on top of it so that he does not feel overwhelmed in handling it alone.

4. Keep things as unchanged at home as possible: Since going to a new school is a pretty big change in itself, avoid introducing any other major changes in their lifestyles at this time. If you need to move houses as well, try and do it either a few weeks before he goes back to school or once he has adjusted to his new school. It helps kids a great deal if their home surrounding is still the same and if their friends in the neighbourhood are still around.

5. Stay calm and play it cool : There is a good chance that your child might come home from school and throw a tantrum that he hates it there and will never go back because of X reason. Do not be taken in with his emotion and overreact or rush to call the teacher or the principal. Listen patiently and try to assuage his fears and worries. Give it a week before you take any action on his concerns.

6. Talk to him every day: Through this transition process, set aside EXTRA time to talk to him about his day and how he is feeling in the new environment. Share stories about how you coped with transitions in the past and how you succeeded in making friends.  Constantly reassure him that you have got his back and you will help him to the best of your ability. Take him out for ice cream that weekend for celebrating the first week of transition.

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