They have their own daily routine, their friends and teachers, they are familiar with the schoolyard and the path that leads to it… But some big change is about to happen in their everyday life: they are changing schools! How can you help them prepare for this event and face the challenge?
How can you prepare your child for a change of school?
The key to making this change less stressful is preparation.
Choose the right timing to bring up the topic with your child: before 6 years old, children don’t have the sense of time. It wouldn’t be wise to start discussing the event several months ahead. If the change is planned in September, start raising the subject around mid-june, it’ll be early enough.
Ask the new school’s principal to schedule a visit of the building with your child, preferably outside rush hour so that your child doesn’t feel to overwhelmed. They will familiarize with the new grounds and feel more confident.
If it is only a change of school and you’re not moving houses, ask your child if they would like to walk to the new school with you, so that they can familiarize with the new path and see their future school. If they’re old enough to walk to school on their own, generally after 8 years old, make sure that they know how to go there before school starts, so that they feel comfortable from the first days of school. If it can help you not to worry, use a kids GPS device like Weenect Kids, that allows you to follow their movements and receive notifications in case a problem occurs. The more relaxed you feel about the situation, the more your child will too.
On the D Day: don’t leave your child on their own
On the first day at a new school, make sure that your child has acknowledged that the time has come to meet their new classmates and teacher. Feel free to go with them, even meet with the new teacher so that they can introduce your child to the other students. It’s a big day for your child, they will need you to support and cheer them up. If you feel a little anxious yourself, try to relax and don’t let the farewells last for too long: children are sensible to the way you feel! Apply the same recommendations when this big day occurs in the middle of the school year.
Advice for a smooth integration in the new school
During the first week, your child may show signs of anxiety or stress. Your mission? De-escalate! And try to identify the first signs of stress and explain that it is going to take some time to get used to this new environment. If your child is missing old friends, there are solutions to keep them in contact. With the magic of the internet, children can stay in touch even when they are far apart!
If you can, and when you have moved neighborhoods, offer your child to start a new extracurricular activity. It’ll allow them to make new friends outside their school environment. When your location allows it, maintain your child’s old activities so that they can keep a connection with their old habits.
A change of school is also an opportunity for your child (if they’re old enough) to gain autonomy and freedom in this new environment. Weenect GPS devices will help you pull away with serenity.It is best to bring your child to school on the first day. Click To Tweet