Coping & Thiriving in a New School14/02/2020
Making the most of life is often about accepting change rather than trying to fight it. While kids are great at adjusting to new situations, they also thrive on routine and consistency. In order to help your kids cope and eventually thrive in a new school environment, it's important to empower their motivation for change while slowly adding familiarity over time. You can help with this process at any time, both before and after the move actually takes place.
Discussing the move with your child in advance is a simple way to change an unknown into a known. Visiting the new school ahead of time can also help to build confidence, especially if you can meet some of the teachers. Even simple things like driving to the new school or showing them the bus stop can go a long way towards building familiarity. While it's important to focus on your new environment, a healthy transition also requires a little looking back. It’s great for your child to keep memories of their old school and stay in touch with their existing friends.
Once they have started the new school, there's a lot you can do to make the move as seamless as possible. While each new day will automatically become easier for your child, you can help at the beginning by being consistent with things like food, drop-offs, and after-school routines. Meet with your child's new teachers to learn about their expectations, buy text books and uniforms to help them feel included, and learn about the canteen and library schedules to give them something to look forward to.
Managing your perceptions has a huge effect on how your kids react to change, so try to stay positive and don't let small stresses become larger than they need to. Whether your child is starting out at high school or entering a new school due to relocation, developing a healthy perspective will help to make the transition less stressful for everyone. If your child does develop problems with school work or friends, try to keep things in perspective and learn to always keep your cool. Anxiety and excitement are closely related feelings, and sometimes, it's simply a matter of changing your perspective.
While school is undeniably important for kids of all ages, it's also important to remember about life outside. Whether it's after-school activities, sporting clubs, or healthy weekend hobbies, there are lots of ways to stimulate your children and give them a well-rounded view of life that's not limited to the school yard. While everyone struggles making new friends and settling into a new environment, having the ability to cope with change and thrive in new situations is one of the most important skills of all.