Easing Your Child’s Transition to a New School

As a new school year approaches, it is normal for your child to experience back-to-school jitters.

When transitioning to a new school, a child may be experiencing an increase in emotions such as uncertainty, anticipation, and curiosity.

Whether your child is transitioning from middle to high school or starting school in a new city, there are several ways you can help your child adjust to the transition. Here are a few tips for easing your child’s transition to a new school:

  1. Read books to your child about moving, starting a new school, and forming new friendships.
  2. Allow your child to visit the school, see the classroom, meet the teacher, and visit the bus stop or school drop off location prior to the first day of school.
  3. Meet with your child’s school counselor to express your concerns about the transition. Your child’s school counselor can meet with your child and find ways to help your help your child become acclimated to a new environment.
  4. Inquire about the school’s new student orientation. Ask about a peer mentorship program, in which designated existing students are assigned a new student to reach out to.
  5. Meet other parents at the school. This can allow you to learn more about the school from their perspective and help your child meet peers.
  6. Encourage your child to participate in after school activities and other extracurriculars. This is a great opportunity for a child to meet new friends and engage in physical exercise or artistic engagement.
  7. Create a weekly routine and use your best effort to maintain it.
  8. Allow your child to remain in contact with old friends, while encouraging them to make new friends.

Transitions take time and patience. Just as navigating a new environment can be difficult for us adults, it too may take some time for your child to feel comfortable in his/her new school community.

Mary Anne Short, MA

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