Easing the School Transition for Children and Teens
The transition to a new school can be an anxious and overwhelming experience for both students and their parents. Whether it’s moving from Infant to Junior School, Primary School to Secondary School, or even relocating to a new town or country, change can be challenging.
However, with careful planning, understanding, and support, this transition can be made smoother for everyone involved. In this blog, I will explore some practical strategies and tips to help ease the school transition for students. I’m sure the below are kind of obvious however (like me) take comfort in knowing that I’m doing all the right things as a parent. I too have a very excited child who will be shortly starting a very big secondary school in September.
Communication is Key
Open and honest communication between parents, teachers, and students is essential during this period of change. Parents should talk to their children about the upcoming transition, addressing any concerns or fears they may have. Additionally, parents should maintain a close relationship with their child’s new teachers, keeping them informed about any specific needs or preferences.
Visit the New School
Familiarity breeds comfort. Whenever possible, arrange visits to the new school with your child before the first day. Walk around the school, visit the classrooms, meet the teachers, and explore the facilities. This will help your child become more at ease with their new environment and make the first day less daunting. Practise going to school during the summer break. If they are walking, go for the walk with your child and time how long it takes to get there, if driving don’t forget to add on additional time for early morning traffic, check for any roadworks planned. Decide on alternative driving routes so if needed you have a backup on an alternative route, this will reduce the stress on yourself and your child if you have to take a detour!
Stay Positive and Encouraging
As parents, your attitude has an impact on your child’s emotions. Stay positive and encouraging about the new school experience. Highlight the exciting aspects of the transition, such as new friendships, extracurricular activities, and interesting subjects.
Be Patient and Understanding
During the initial phase of transitioning to a new school, your child may experience various emotions ranging from excitement to fear. Be patient and understanding with them as they adapt to their new surroundings. Let them know it’s normal to feel a bit anxious, and reassure them that it will pass with time. Validate their feelings and do not dismiss them.
Encourage Involvement in Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities provide an excellent opportunity for students to meet like-minded peers and explore their interests outside of the classroom. Encourage your child to participate in clubs, sports, arts, or any other activities they enjoy. This involvement can foster a sense of belonging and make the school transition more enjoyable.
Maintain Routines and Stability
Amidst the changes brought on by transitioning schools, try to maintain stability in other aspects of your child’s life. Keeping regular routines for meals, sleep, and family time can provide a sense of security during this period of adjustment.
Seek Support from the School
Schools are well aware of the challenges faced by students during transitions. In the first instance don’t hesitate to seek support from teachers, pastoral or, SENCO if your child is finding it difficult to cope. Some parents who seek support with Child Therapy Telford may have had some form of help but resources are stretched and end.
If further interventions are required please book in a FREE non-obligatory consultation https://louisa-nlp4kids.youcanbook.me Child Therapy Telford. I offer face-to-face or online therapy support specifically for anxiety, low self-esteem, phobias, OCD and help with regulating emotions. School transition can be overwhelming and may highlight mental ill health. Early intervention is an important factor in affecting outcomes for children and young people.
By Louisa Gauld-Crichton