Adjusting to the routine of going back to school particularly after a long holiday is stressful enough for many kids. But when your child has to resume school in a completely different environment from the one he is used to, it is a new ballgame altogether. The child is confronted with adjusting to new people including teachers and pupils, new structures, and a new system of doing things.
A child may have to change school for different reasons such as relocation of parents from one neighbourhood to another, the decision of parents to opt for a better school , transition from a junior school to a higher one and so on. The (circumstances) that occasioned the change of school determine how quickly your child adjusts to his new environment.
For example a child that has to leave his home to go live with someone else due to loss of a parent or divorce of his parents might not easily settle down. The child’s temperament and nature is also a factor. Some children are by nature more outgoing than others and so are more willing to explore a new environment.
Prepare your child’s mind well ahead of an impending change. Your child may not understand all the details but you need to explain to him. It’s all about him or her, remember?
You can take him along on a tour of the new school. When the child is acquainted with the facilities and some of the people he will meet in the coming term, it makes it less scary for him.
If the school is in a neighbourhood close to your home, you may choose to make enquiries about some families that have their children in that school. If after all your findings you feel satisfied that your child is safe to make friends with their kids it’s welcome. At least your child is sure that he’s got an ally whenever school resumes.
Help your child settle down by also checking in on him to know how well he is coping in the new school. Ask him questions on his new friends, his relationship with his teacher (s).
You can as well check with his teacher to find out their opinion on how well your child is settling down. Hopefully, the feedback from the child and the teachers will be a positive one. But just in case it is not you might need to have a continuous talk with your child. Watch out that your child is not being bullied or molested in his new environment.
Make the change attractive for the child. Some new school supplies other than than the ones he’s used to might even make him feel it is worth the while. Be enthusiastic about the change yourself. Even though your child is the one to attend a new school, there’s a likelihood that even you as the parent is anxious to see that your choice goes well for the sake of your child. Your enthusiasm can be infectious for the child and raise his optimism about the school.
Lastly, I encourage you to plan ahead, get your acts together and settle your child and the whole family into a routine that works. Early in the morning isn’t the time for you to run around the house or your street, looking for bread or eggs to buy. Things like their socks, homework, and other school supplies should be ready before going to bed.
The meals for breakfast and the lunch for school should be got ready on time. If you leave home early enough and avoid the traffic, your child can get to school and settle down to take his classes and participate in other school activities. But a child who arrives late to school is likely to be even more anxious.
Are you wondering that this parenting stuff is a lot of work? Just chill. Very soon, you will be over that phase.
Written By Folasade Adejoorin
A mother,teacher,administrator, counselor and author. She is passionate about helping parents raise godly children in Christian homes.