Think about how you felt when you first began school, or if your family relocated and you transitioned into a different school altogether. You were probably a bit scared and nervous. Chances are your children will be, too. Going to a new school doesn’t have to be a source of stress and anxiety for your kids. As a parent, what can you do to help them feel less anxious?
Try these ideas:
1. Avoid dismissing your children’s fears. They may be genuinely scared of starting at a new school, which is typical of many kids. Children may be worried about bullies, tough classes, and fitting in. They may also be afraid of having to make new friends or being alone. That said, it’s important to pay attention to your children’s fears and address them with empathy and understanding.
Transitioning to a new school is a significant step for kids. It may seem minor to adults, but children spend their entire day at school and have to complete their homework at night. Their lives revolve around school and the people they see there.
2. Consider the advice of professionals. Therapists recommend that desensitization may help kids with the transition to a new school.
Desensitization is the process of gradual and repeated exposure to what is feared, resulting in a reduced emotional response. If children are having difficulty adjusting to the thought of starting a new school, they may benefit from desensitization, which will help them feel more comfortable with the change.
The easiest way to do this is to visit the school with your child once, if not multiple times before the new school year starts. Stop by the front office and explain that your child is going to be attending and ask if you both can have a tour. If someone from the school isn’t able to show you around the school, they may allow you to walk through on your own. Visit your child’s new classrooms, playground, library, and cafeteria.
See if you can meet with your child’s teacher while you’re there. If they’re not available, you can at least find out where their homeroom class will be. You may already have their schedule for the year; try to find all of their classrooms. Walk your child through their daily schedule by visiting each classroom as they would during school hours.