Whether it is due to relocation or any number of other reasons, the idea of leaving one school environment and entering a new one can be a challenging experience for a child. Here are 5 things that can help reduce anxiety related to changing schools and make the transition a smooth one for your child:
1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Offer your support by listening to your child’s concerns about the transition. As the first day of school approaches, talk to your child about his or her hopes, expecations and fears. Acknowledge your child’s feelings and assure him or her it is normal to be anxious about starting at a new school. Above all, maintain a positive and realistic focus regarding the transition.
2. Arrange a Visit to the School
A visit to your child’s new school can go a long way in helping to calm your child’s nerves. In addition to seeing the physical building, meeting some of the school staff and personnel can help alleviate the fear of the unknown and familiarize your child with some of the people he or she will soon be seeing on regular basis.
3. Connect With Classmates
Look for opportunities for your child to meet some of his or her soon-to-be classmates over the summer. Reach out to the school office to discover ways to connect with families whose students are in your child’s grade or to learn more about events or activities you might be able to attend to make these connections.
4. Tap Into School Resources
Identify the ways in which your school communicates important information to parents. Take the steps necessary to ensure you are in the loop. Your proactive engagement will not only keep you informed, but will also help expedite your child’s transition.
5. Get Involved
Reach out and introduce yourself to the PTA president or parent volunteer coordinator. Look for ways to contribute to the school that utilize your skills and are aligned with your interests. Your involvement in the school can go a long way in easing your child’s transition. In addition, research shows that the more involved parents are, the more successful their children will be in school in general.