Going back to school can be an exciting time. It’s a time to renew friendships and see old friends again. It’s looking forward to what another school year will bring. But for some it can be an anxiety-filled experience because they are the new kid on the block.
You can make help make this transition to a new school as smooth as possible.
Check the school’s website for information. Usually you can find the school’s mission statement, code of conduct, programs, newsletters and so forth. Newsletters are informational so you get a good idea on what the school is about. If the website offers a downloadable handbook, print it out for you and your child to read together.
Before school starts, take your child to the school and walk around. Some times the after-school care uses a portable on the same property as the school and uses the school’s facilities when the school is in session. Discuss with them about what the school is like.
Calm your child’s pre-school jitters and fears. If you experienced adjusting to a new school when you were a child, share your story. If you know of another child, ask if they would like to share their story. It would be even better as they’ll be able to relate more.
Once it’s back to school, make an appointment with the principal to get a tour of the school. You can also get an appointment with your child’s teacher. If your child has questions, this would be a good time for him/her to ask during the meeting. Some schools offer an orientation for new students or they have a casual meet the parents-teachers evening where you can visit your child’s classroom, ask general questions and walk through the school.
Encourage your child to join sports or after school activities. Also, encourage her/him to be an active participant in class.
To help your child adjust to a new school, introduce yourself to a few moms. This will encourage your child to take the initiative to make new friends.
Get feedback from your child and their teacher on how they are adjusting to the new school. If you have some time offer to help in the classroom, so you get a first hand look at how your child is doing.
Kids are very resilient and can adapt to changes easily. Many of their fears is from not knowing what to expect and making assumptions so it’s important for you to listen to what they have to say and not think it’s silly. Your assurance and support is what they need and it will help make this transition of adjusting to a new school as painless as possible.
A good thing to share with your child is most kids have a positive attitude towards new students and are quick to make friends with them.
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