How to help your child adjust with his new school
It's not very easy for a child to adjust himself with a new school. Every child is very much comfortable with their old schools as they are so used to the environment of their school, they have their friends, their class teachers, their football ground and so many things they relate to. Suddenly when they know that they have to leave all these and go to a new school, it frightens them like anything. The thought of going to new a school scares the kids, adjusting with it is far left behind. Kids worry about what can happen, and how they will handle things with new classrooms, new students, new teachers and the most difficult part, making new friends. The situation that they are put into is totally understandable. It is likely for anyone in that situation and that age to get scared about these things. Parents too would have gone through the same thing if they would have been of their child's age.
Kids may look totally upset during these days and worry all the time about what would happen. Such situations are rough patches of your child's life and though it takes time for your child to get accommodated still it helps them a lot in a long run as and when they succeed. Children are always happy about their school, especially the grown up kids. One can't say the same thing about toddlers, who hardly understand things and may not face those severe problems. But kids from the age group 5 to 13 may rather find it difficult to handle such situations. Since going to one school for years help they develop a strong bonding with that school which is difficult to weaken. They have so many memories about the school, the functions, the activities, their friends, their teachers, their association with others and various other small things which are unforgettable for them.
Reasons why a child would have to go to a new school
There can be various reasons why a child may need to change his school and go to a new school. Few of these reasons could be:
- Parents are relocating to a new neighborhood or city due to job reasons. (This forms one of the main reasons)
- Parents are unhappy with the educational approach of the existing school and hence plan to change.
- Parents are unhappy with the facilities offered by the school and hence shifting their child to a school with better infrastructure.
- Parents not convinced about the fact that the school is able to satisfy their child's educational needs or find it completely unsatisfactory.
- Parents wish to change their child's school with the idea of changing and providing a better opportunity for their child with respect to existing curriculum like from ICSE to IGCSE or so on.
- Your child been expelled from the school due to various reasons.
- The child has to move out from his house to a relative's house for various family reasons.
Fears a child may have about his new school
Parents wonder why a child has to be scared about his new school when it is much better and upgraded. But for a child it really doesn't matter much whether the new school is an upgraded one or not. For him, other than this there are many reasons which scare him. Few of these fears and questions a child may have, include:
- How the new teachers would be?
- What if I get lost in that big school and don't know my way back home?
- What if everyone is mean to me?
- What if I don't like my class teacher?
- What if nobody likes me?
Such questions are definitely going to scare your child who may look very unhappy about the whole idea of changing the school. What parents can do is help their child feel lot more comfortable and also help them to get adjusted to the new surroundings. Let's learn about few ways by which parents can help their child to adjust with his/her new school:
Be positive about the whole new school thing in front your child
Your child is anyways very much scared about the whole new school issue. It may not be right on the parent's part to add new fears to the existing list. So parents can just try to be positive about the new school and make your child feel comfortable and positive about it. Other than children, in various instances even few of the parents have fears regarding the child and his new school. This happens when a child has to change his school due to the family's relocation to a new place. Parents know how much their child loves his old school but still have to shift to a new place due to various reasons. In such cases, parents too feel guilty about the new school thing. But parents need to stay positive in front of the child by telling him the best infrastructure and facilities available at the new school or other things which your child complains are not present in his existing school.
For example: If your child loves certain sport or activity like swimming, foot ball or any other; which is not available at his old school but his new school offers it, then boast about it in front of your child which may help him a bit.
Try to understand your child's feelings
You know what your child is going through. So instead of shouting over him and other than making harsh comments, help him out. Try to recognize what your child is going through and provide some support and proper understanding which may help him. Talk to your child about all the possibilities and the reasons for your decision of relocation. Help him know why you have taken this decision. Involve your child in family discussions and allow him the freedom of expressing himself. If your child feels angry, anxious, scared or upset about the whole issue, do understand that he has a full right of doing so. Help him out by having healthy conversations and discussions. Allow him to have some time for himself to think about the whole issue.
Try to be a good parent
It is very important for a parent to play his role carefully and perfectly when it comes to helping out a child in such situation. Parents need to tackle such situations diplomatically which may avoid hurting their child. The parents can help their child understand their inner strengths and abilities thus removing their fears and confusions. If your child is worried about to being able t make friends, instead of getting angry let him know that he is capable enough to handle this situation. Remind him of few earlier situations which he had handled successfully. Remind him of any situation, which may include his camping trip or his music classes or any other situation which he managed well. This may help to shift your child's attention from his fears and may help him to develop confidence about handling his new school and classmates very well.
Take your child to pay a visit to his new school
The first day of the new school can be really terrifying for a kid, as he may just come across a huge building with lots of new students he doesn't know. His fear may prevent him from taking a step ahead inside the school building. No parent would like to see their child to go through something like this. Hence here's what parents can do:
- Arrange your child's visit to his new school very well before his first day.
- Let your child see his new school and take a tour inside.
- Let him get acquainted with the surroundings.
- Let him visit the school hall, library, swimming pool area, cafeteria and other facilities.
- Let him, if possible meet and get acquainted with his teacher and principal.
- If possible show him his new classroom.
This way your child is aware of his new surroundings and may not feel that scary on his very first day at school. If parents make such an attempt by arranging a school visit for their child, they definitely help him to feel comfortable about it and thus help him to tackle his own fears. If your child gets a good impression about his school during his first visit then there's nothing like it and your half work is almost done.
Top 5 tips for parents to help their child adjust with his new school
1. Try to cheer up your child by telling him how much happy he would be about his new school. Also remind him about the fact that he would make new friends and still manage to keep friendships with his old friends.
2. Arrange a get together for his new classmates and allow your child a chance to meet them before his first day. This may help him get comfortable.
3. Encourage your child to involve in the new school activities. But don't force him initially if he refuses to do so.
4. Be sure, that things are not going to happen overnight. All you need to do is keep patience and allow your child to take his own time to get accommodated with his new surroundings.
5. Finally if at all your child still is not comfortable with the whole idea, let him talk to a school counselor and discuss his problems. That may really be beneficial for him.