Adjusting to a new school can be scary for children. Kids can feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar environment and may need help to prepare for a big adjustment. Here are some tips to help make for an easier transition.
- Tackle Anxieties early on
Sometimes there’s one aspect of the new school that makes your child anxious. That aspect can be anything from practicing how to open a lock on a new locker, to getting the right school supplies for their new class schedule. Have a conversation about what they anticipate might cause them to be stressed and tackle the issue head on before school starts.
- Encourage extracurriculars
New schools mean new people, and teens want to feel they fit in somewhere to explore different aspects of themselves. Getting involved with a variety of groups outside of school hours exposes them to talents they might not have known they had. Often in school, relationships can take longer to build when classes are emphasized on academics rather than social interaction. Clubs or sports can be a way for your child to meet new people and learn about themselves.
- Visit the school before day 1
Many schools offer tours if you schedule in advance, practicing a typical day in school can help your child feel prepared on the first day. If possible, do a walkthrough of the path they would take between classes. If your child is anxious about carrying books and binders between classes, now is a good time to map out when to drop off or pick up supplies from their locker.
- Be patient and keep a positive outlook
New schools can bring about new challenges. Stay positive about the opportunities a new start can bring. If your child’s anxiety worsens, be sure to keep an open line of communication with teachers. Find support within the resources offered by the school so your child doesn’t fall behind. There are solutions available whether they be online, apps, tutors, or counselors.
- Start strong
The night before the first day, try to establish a routine for winding down after a long day. Summer break can mean your child’s sleep schedule deviated from their normal early morning/early night routine. Creating guidelines for a point in the night when the family puts their phones down is a supportive way to get into a great habit. Spending time reading together or individually is a healthy habit to practice as well. The first night is also an opportunity to figure out what tasks should be done the night before to prepare for school the next day. Whether it’s laying out clothes or making lunch, now is the time to start out strong.