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Helping Your Child to Adjust to Their New School

By: Christine Whitfield BA (hons) - Updated: 21 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Helping Your Child To Adjust To Their New School

For whatever reason, sometimes it is necessary for children to move schools. Whether because of a house move or because of problems at the previous school children often have to leave one school and move to another. When this happens it can be a traumatic experience but there are steps you can take to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.

When you are a child change is scary. Getting comfortable in a school and making friends only to be forced to move and start all over again is daunting to say the least. For children who find it difficult to make friends the experience can be terrifying. It is important to hear what your children think and feel and, although the move might be necessary, do not trivialise your child’s concerns. If he or she is upset listen to them, let them explain their feelings and try and help them work through them. Never be too blunt, telling them “look we have to move so deal with it” will not help anyone whatsoever. They need you to take their problems seriously, belittling them can be hurtful and upsetting. Always hear your child out.

Dummy Runs

It is important that your child becomes familiar with the school the will be attending. They will be nervous about attending the new school and they’ll be even more so if they haven’t seen the school they will be attending. Help them along by doing several dummy runs of the route to school. If possible take them into the school to have a look around. The teachers will understand your child will be nervous and will be more than happy to let them come inside and have a look. They may even get the chance to meet a few of the pupils.

Talk Talk Talk

When your child does start at the school speak to them about what they’ve been up to during the day. Ask about lessons, what they have learnt, who they met, what their teaches are like etc. Do not do so in an accusatory fashion though. Be excited and interested and let them tell you as many details as they wish.

Be Understanding

Your child may be upset some days or scared. Let them be and help them through it. Do not give in to them if they say they want to stay off school but do not be too stern. Explain that it will get easier and every day they could make a new friend. Try help them make friends by allowing them to have new friends round for tea or by organising a trip with them.

Starting at a new school on your own can be very difficult. Children like security and change like moving to a new school is not something that makes them feel safe. Even the most outgoing children will feel nervous about being the ‘new kid’ at school. However with your help and understanding they will soon settle in and feel ‘secure’ again.

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