Helping Your Child Adjust to a School
As parents we try to structure our child's life in such a way as to remove instability, provide predictable routines, and minimize emotionally difficult changes. However, no matter how hard we try, change does occur and sometimes it is impactful. One of these changes that happens in every child's life is moving to a new school or a new level of education. The first days and weeks of a new life can be exciting, but they can also be filled with uncertainty and anxiety. The following tips and strategies will help your child quickly adapt to her/his new school and routine. Stay positive There is nothing that will help your child maintain a positive attitude-toward their new school than your positive attitude. If you're concerned about the transition, and you let it show, your child will be concerned too. It's okay to discuss your child's fears and expectations but reassure them they're going to have great year. Sometimes it's helpful to let your child know that every other child is going through the same thing they are. Let them know you're in it together Nothing is more reassuring to a child, especially a younger child, than knowing that you're going to be with them every step of the way. No, you're not going to sit with them in class, but you'll be there for them before school, after school and will even be available during school, if needed. Volunteering at your child's school or in their classroom can be an effective way of helping a struggling child adjust to their new school environment. If your child is older, help them select their classes and keep an open line of daily communication. Making sure you're physically and emotionally available for your older child will help them make a smooth transition to their new school. Get your child involved Getting your child involved in school activities is a great way to ease their fears and help them quickly adjust to their new school. While you don't want to force them into anything, you want to encourage participation in classes and activities that will foster new friendships and help them feel a part of the new school community and less like an outsider.Older students who participate in school activities, clubs, or sports tend to feel more connected and perform better academically. Getting involved in extracurricular activities outside the classroom can help a child feel more connected inside the classroom. Get some sleep More and more studies confirm what many parents have known for years, getting a good night’s sleep is necessary to have healthy, well-adjusted kids. Getting enough sleep prior to a new school year is also important– especially if your child is relocating to a new school. To make her transition easier, we recommend starting your child's new school-year sleep routine several weeks before school starts. This will help ensure that her/his transition to a new school doesn't include transitioning to a new sleeping schedule at the same time.
Bring your child to school on time
It is very important for the child enter the school together with their friends. They are coming in together, getting ready for entering the classroom together, beginning the work cycle together. Most of the kids are feeling embarrassing entering the classroom while all their friends are already in and working. It may be a cause of going to school anxiety.
Don't get rushed
The morning of each day of school can often end up being a mad house – especially if you have more than one kid to get ready. In order to avoid the morning rush, get everything ready the night before. Make sure that all school’s paperwork is filled out and placed in school bag to return if required, any soiled or wet clothes sent from school are replaced with clean ones, school bag is placed next to the door and ready to pick up in the morning, and clothes for tomorrow are chosen by or with your child accordingly to the weather and laid out. Planning the night before will allow your child to get plenty of sleep, get out the door on time and not feel any additional anxiety.
Parents often overlook the importance of a healthy diet for children, especially when they're going to school. A twinkle now and then is a welcome treat, but healthy snacks and a healthy lunch should be the norm. It's also important that children eat a healthy breakfast with no sugar and enough protein every morning. Children who skip breakfast don't have the energy or ability to focus and often have a hard time paying attention in class.
Be positive at arrival time and trust your school
Morning is a very sensitive time for most of us. Not many of us are ready to get out of our cozy pajamas and leave our Home Sweet Home in the morning. Saying “I don’t want to go to school”, child usually means that he/she does not want to leave a home sweet home and going to miss mommy and daddy. Simply tell your child how much you love him/her and that you will pick your child up right after morning work (or nap time, or afternoon snack, etc.). Leave your child with a smile. Trust your school and teachers. We are here to help! Feel free to call to school and check how your child is doing.