Your company opens a branch office in a new city and you have to relocate with your family to head the branch. This means a new home, work environment, and new school for the kids. As an adult, adapting to change is not as much a challenge as for your two-year-old who needs to now start attending daycare at 77433. It isn’t any easier for your older kids. So, how do you help them?
First, you need to acknowledge the fact that the transitioning process will not run smoothly. Even for the most extroverted kids, a new classroom with new instructors and students is a challenge. You need to let them know that you understand how this is difficult for them. They must also know that you will support them through it all. These are the crucial first steps.
As a parent, you should understand that your toddler needs a different approach from your seven-year-old. Of course, this also means your teenage daughter will take the transition differently. In this post, we will try to discuss the various approaches to each age group. Let’s get right to it.
Toddlers always have it the toughest when trying to adapt to a new school environment. They have barely gotten enough language and communication skills and suddenly they need to know a lot of new faces. Expect that your toddler will cling to you and refuse to let go for the first few days or even weeks at the new school. This is known as separation anxiety. If your toddler makes friends easily, then you will find out that they’re over the difficulty soon. Let’s discuss some tips that make their transition easier.
Before leaving your toddler’s former daycare, it helps to say goodbye. A little celebration for the occasion works too. Try to ask the caregiver at the old daycare for notes on your toddler to give to the new caregiver. For the first week at the new place, you should try to stay with your toddler for an hour or two every morning at school. You can gradually decrease this time until you can drop them off without any issues. Try to interact with the caregiver to know how your child is doing. Interact with the other kids too as a leading example to your child.
Lastly, always say goodbye before you leave.
First, you need to talk to them about it. It’s easier to help them when you understand their fears. Play with them and try to chip in comforting words to reassure them. You can discuss specific situations with them and tell them what to do. If you’re lucky to arrive during school break, visit the school to know if they offer a late summer playground meeting. Your child will meet new people and make friends before the school resumes fully. Keep in mind that what kindergarteners want the most are friends to play with and to feel all grown up.
For middle-schoolers, it helps to follow them to school on the first day. Explore the school together, learn where is where, and locate their classroom. Help them with opening the locker and see to it that they can do that without difficulty. Help them choose their best clothes for school. They are at that age when looks matter more than before.
For adolescents, your job is to try to listen. They are not likely to be forthcoming anyway, they like to face their problems on their own. It helps to visit the new school so that you can get familiar with the environment. Do this during an open house or orientation organized for parents. It’s important to always let your teenager know that you believe in them. Most importantly, listen to them and show that you will always be there.