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Tips for Transitioning to a New School

Children often adapt easily to situations but moving to a new school and making new friends can be very difficult for kids of all ages. There are however some steps that parents can take to make the transition to a new school easier and less stressful for kids. The first thing you should do is arrange a visit to the new school so that both you and your child can become familiar with their new environment.

When helping kids make the transition to a new school environment, it is important to take their personalities into account. Some children will adapt to change better than others and won't necessarily need a bunch of extra preparation. On the other hand, children that have shown difficulty in adapting to new environments may need a bit more help with the transition. Practicing the transition to a new school is one of the best things you can do to help prepare your child. Parents can take kids with them and practice the route to school, and even visit the school itself before the first day. Parents should also help kids socialize with some of the adults that work at the school. Try to seek out staff that you know to be friendly and outgoing and introduce your child so there will be some familiar faces.

If your child is simply moving to a new school because of graduation, the transition may be a bit easier as their friends will be moving with them. Kids that are new to neighborhoods however may have a more difficult time as they are not only moving to a new school but also to a new neighborhood where they will have to make friends. If you are in a new neighborhood, you should make an effort to seek out and socialize with other families who have children the same age as yours. An easy way to do this may be to join a community center, the parent teacher association, or even host a small get together at your house. It might be a bit easier for your child to transition to a new school if they have already made some friends in the neighborhood.

There are also many children's books available that deal with the topics of change and school. A local library or bookstore is a good place to start. If you child enjoys reading, a book may help to ease some of their fears. It is normal for parents to be nervous about their kids starting at a new school but it is important not to express that to your child as it could cause them more stress.

It is important for parents to communicate with children. Once your child has started at their new school, you should look for signs of stress which may indicate that your child needs some additional help adjusting to their new school. Signs including meltdowns on the way to school, refusing to go to school, separation anxiety, and changes in eating or sleeping patterns. If you notice any of these signs in your child, you should not only talk to them about it but also discuss the issue with teachers and school administrators. School staff can sometimes help with difficult transitions to help children feel more comfortable. School psychologists and guidance counselors can also be a great asset in helping children transition.

Parents should be patient as kids make the transition to a new school. Eventually, kids will become comfortable with their new surroundings, make new friends, and the transition will be complete.

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Find more about the author: Kim Hart