Changing schools can be a difficult process for children. However, going to a new school doesn’t have to be a source of stress and anxiety for your children. You can make the transition to a new school easier and more fun.
Try these ideas:
1. Avoid dismissing your children's fears.
They may be genuinely scared of starting at a new school. Children may be worried about new bullies, difficult classes, and fitting in at the school. They may also be afraid of making new friends or being alone. So it’s important to pay attention to your children’s fears and address them.
Transitioning to a new school is a big step for children. It may seem minor to adults, but children spend their entire day at school and have to deal with homework at night. Their lives revolve around school and the people they see there.
2. Consider the advice of therapists.
Therapists recommend that desensitization may help your children with the transition to a new school.
Desensitization is the process of repeated exposure to a negative item, idea, or other process that results in reduced emotional responses. This means that being exposed to something negative multiple times can help you deal with it.
Children who are having a hard time adjusting to the thought of starting a new school may benefit from desensitization.
The easiest way to handle this is to visit the school multiple times before the new school year starts. You can visit the children’s new classrooms, playground, and cafeteria. You can try to set up meetings with their new teachers.
3. Show children the new routine.
Children who love routines need to see the new version that will affect them.
The new school routine can include the bus route or your driving route.
It can also include their routine at home before school. You may want to consider eating breakfast, packing their lunch, and practicing for school.
4. Involve them in the process of getting ready for the new school.
It’s important for children to feel like their opinions matter. This will help them transition to the new school with less fear.
Your children can help you pick out their school supplies and clothes for the new year. They can also help you think of new breakfast ideas or favorite foods they want for lunch or after-school snacks.
5. Look for positive features in the new school.
Does the new school have a bigger playground than their old one? Does it have a nicer lunch menu with more options? Do they get a longer recess?
By looking for the positive aspects of the new school, you can show the children that moving to a new school may actually be fun for them – at least in some ways. These positive aspects give them something to look forward to.
Conduct research on the new school and amaze your children with fun, new facts. You may also want to get a list of after-school activities and go through it with your children.
6. Remind your children that they have overcome other challenges.
Your children will feel more confident if they remember the other transitions they conquered.
For example, did your children move to a different neighborhood several years ago? Did your children successfully join a new program at their local library? Maybe they took dance lessons, joined a sports league, or trained in a martial arts class.
A new school can be a scary place for children, but you can help. You can be instrumental in giving them a great start as they transition to their new school.