Joining a new school can be a stressful time in a child’s life. The idea of meeting a class full of people they don’t know, while leaving behind the friends they made is enough to send anxiety sky high. On top of this is the usual level of stressors from imagined exams, learning and teachers. As parents, it’s therefore important we prepare the groundwork and get them ready to ensure they make the best first impressions possible. Here are our tips for helping your children transition to a new school.
Embrace the Journey
Foster a positive outlook in your children as they embark on their journey. Encourage them to discuss their excitement, uncertainties, and set daily goals to boost their confidence.
Validate Their Feelings
Acknowledge your child’s emotions and assure them that their feelings are valid. Remind them that it’s okay to be nervous, but it shouldn’t stop them from taking on new challenges.
Engage in Conversation
Encourage your kids to express their concerns and worries about starting school. By asking open-ended questions, you can gain insight into their specific fears and address them effectively.
Communicate with the School
Build a strong partnership with your child’s teachers by sharing information about your child’s interests, struggles, and any significant changes at home. Effective communication leads to better support.
Practice Makes Perfect
Familiarize your child with their new school environment by visiting the school, and playground, or arranging playdates with classmates. Gradually introduce them to separation from you to build confidence.
Establish Routines Early
Transitioning to school is smoother when children have consistent routines. Start meal, bath, and bedtime routines a few weeks before school begins.
Seek Support from Peers
Encourage your child to talk to friends, neighbours, or older siblings who can relate to their school-related concerns. Sharing with someone who understands can ease fears.
Visualize the Day
Create a visual calendar with pictures outlining your child’s daily routine. This helps children focus on what they already know and anticipate each part of their day.
Lead by Example
Children pick up on their parents’ emotions. If you’re anxious, discuss your concerns with adults rather than your child. Stay positive and ask open-ended questions when talking about the new school year.
Make It Memorable
Celebrate the first week of school by adding special touches like notes in their pockets, taking photos, allowing your child to choose a favourite outfit, share a special meal or enjoy a treat in their lunchbox to mark the occasion.
Wishing your child a successful and exciting school year ahead!