Regardless of age, any child who is attending a new school for the first time is apprehensive. They not only do not know any of the other students, they do not know their teachers and do not have a clue regarding the school layout. A parent can do a number of things to help a young child adjust to the situation.
• Determine what kind of transportation is involved
1. If walking is involved, make the trip with your child so they become familiar with the surroundings.
2. Make sure the area is safe for a child to walk alone. If not, introduce him or her to someone you have contacted to accompany them.
• Visit the school
1. When signing registration papers, be sure your child is introduced to the office personnel, including the principal.
2. Walk through the school and visit the classroom or classrooms they will be using.
3. Show them where the bathrooms and lunchroom is located so they can find them easily.
Moving to a new area can be a great benefit for a family. Unfortunately, changing schools can be a traumatic experience for your children. Often, moves are precipitated when one of the parents changes jobs. A new school can be like a job change as well. The environment where the children spend most of their waking time suddenly changes. Teachers, friends, and the school buildings themselves are suddenly different and potentially unwelcoming. It is important for parents to smooth the transition for their children as much as they are able.
Get Buy-In From Your Children
Often, parents justify a move and a school change by telling their children that it is “better for the family” and leave it at that. This strategy may work for another adult, but probably not for children who generally have completely different perspectives. They are unlikely to understand why a job change may be important or necessary. However, they can understand improvements in the things that affect them directly, particularly their new home, school, and area. Continue reading