Starting at a New School – 4 Tips for a Smooth Transition

Your child had a carefree summer break but it is ending very soon. To add that twinge of indigo to the end-of-summer blues, your kid is also starting off at a new school this year. Back to school is a subject that occupies the minds of many people, when the calendar pages turn. In fact, just thinking about the first day at a new school can make many kids jumpy.

Starting at a New school - Anxiety
Dealing with Back-to-School Anxiety

Here are a few things that bother most kids:

  • Missing old friends
  • Bullies who pick on the new kid
  • Learning the layout of a new school
  • Feeling shy about talking to new people
  • Ending of summer freedom and new stress of tests and homework

So how do you help your kid deal with all these worries? Use these tips to help your child drive away the jitters and turn a potentially nerve-wracking experience into a smooth ride.

  1. Talk about it: Your child needs to know that feeling nervous before starting at a new school is completely normal and acceptable. Make it a part of your dinner table conversation and encourage him to open up about his feelings. This will help clear up vague worries and encourage him to voice any real fears. If there is something in particular that he needs to get off his chest, this is your chance to help him do it.
  2. Prepare all the school supplies: Make sure your child has all the school supplies he needs before school starts. Most kids find it nerve-wracking to explain to a teacher why they don’t have the right pencils or notebooks. Get him to help you with the list of stuff he will need – stationery, pencil cases, socks, shoes, clothes – and plan a fun shopping expedition the week before school starts. Get him hyped up with the idea of using his supplies so they can develop a positive association with starting school.
  3. Practice makes perfect: Regular schedules often get tossed away during the summer break and most kids find it difficult to adjust to the discipline that school demands. Make the transition easier for your child by practicing a few drills. Have him get up on time in the morning, dress for school, pack his bag and walk or drive to his new school. Starting now, make sure he gets eight hours of sleep and set regular mealtimes. Be prepared to limit the time spent in front of the television and playing computer games.
  4. Introduce him to other ‘new kids’ Ask around and there are sure to be a few kids who will be going to the same school as your child. Arrange an introduction and have the kids play together for at least a couple of times before school starts. Most kids feel relieved at the sight of a familiar face on the first day and find it easier to blend into an unfamiliar school environment.
  5. Working your child into a new schedule: Most children obviously love summer so much, because they do not have to worry about anything- no tests, teachers, getting up, or homework to worry about. Plus, spending all day in a desk is no easy lifestyle for a young and active kid. But teaching them they can still have fun and get the work done, is the best way to teach them responsibility. Have them work on their homework after school, and play play-dates around them. Get them involved in sports or other fun after-school activities, to keep the week exciting.

And before your child knows it, the school year will be in full swing and enjoyable for him or her!

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