The school year is well underway, and parents and children alike are adjusting to the new routine. But some kids will struggle with the transition even after they’ve been attending for a while. Are your children having trouble successfully integrating into their new environment? What can you do to help?
Help Your Child Feel Comfortable
Beginning to attend a new school is a huge step for a child. For many, this will be the first time they’ve been away from home for a while without a parent present. Even if they’re used to being in school, moving to a new school district and starting over with new teachers and classmates is almost as jarring a transition. Whether the school year is just starting or is already well underway, these simple methods will help your child adjust smoothly:
- Reward independent behavior
- Set up a routine and stick to it
- Encourage friendships
- Make your child feel safe and loved
1) Reward Independent Behavior
As part of the transition into a new school, your child will be experimenting with their newfound relative independence. While there are obviously limits to what you should permit, encourage your child to practice doing a few things for themselves. Are they learning to take the initiative in making friends or asking the teacher questions when they get confused? Reward them and help them see what other steps they can take in developing their own sense of self-sufficiency.
2) Set Up a Routine & Stick to It
Beginning a new part of life can be scary and unfamiliar to a child. The best way to combat these feelings is to provide a consistent, reliable schedule so your child knows exactly what will happen and when, every day. Make sure they get to bed on time, have a good breakfast ready when they wake up, etc. Establishing and maintaining a routine will give them a sense of security and take away the fear of not knowing what the day will look like.
3) Encourage Friendships
This goes hand in hand with the need to encourage independence. In their new school setting, your child will be meeting plenty of new people and developing new friendships. Invite their friends over for playdates or take your child to meet them at playgrounds or other fun settings. Encouraging them to spend time with others of their own age and with similar interests will continue to develop their independence and help them feel comfortable around other people.
Pro Tip: Encouraging your child to develop friendships at their new school will boost their confidence and help them learn to relate to others.
4) Make Your Child Feel Safe & Loved
Above all, be there for your child during this transition. Set aside some time at the end of each school day to have a snack together, watch their favorite show, take a walk, or just spend time with them and talk about the day. Reinforce their feelings of belonging to the family and being cared for.
A Milestone for You and Your Child
Attending a new school for the first time is a big part of your child’s life as well as yours. It’s very important to make this transition as easy as possible for both of you, but your child will require more attention and care in this department. Providing a safe environment and encouraging their growth in their new school will contribute immensely to their well-being. To summarize, the best way to help your child adjust to a new school is to provide support and reinforcement of their good decisions.
Connect with us for more information on starting the school year off right.