While your child may be excited about moving to a new home and making new friends, it can be hard to get started at a new school. This can be especially true if your family moves to a new area in the middle of the school year.
Here are a few simple tactics you and your family can use to help your child feel at ease as they adjust to their new school.
Be open and honest.
It can be tempting to wait as long as possible to tell your kids that you’ll be moving and they’ll be transitioning to a new school. But it would help if you gave them plenty of time to come to terms with the change. So provide as much time as you can to let your kids know that they will be switching schools. This provides them time to spend time with friends, participate in activities (like school dances), and start to get excited for what their new school has to offer.
Hand over control when you can.
It can be tempting to control as much of the process as possible when going through relocation stress. However, handing over some small decisions to your kids can help them harness their energy as they weather the changes that come with switching to a new school—for example, let your child choose their outfit for their first day or decide whether they’d like to take a tour of their new school. These opportunities can go a long way toward helping your child feel more like they’re an active participant in the relocation.
Get involved in their new school (as long as they’re ok with the idea).
Talk to your child about whether they’d be comfortable with you volunteering in their new school. Younger kids often love the idea (older kids may be more hesitant). If your little one is happy about the idea of you volunteering in their classroom or chaperoning school events, talk with their teacher to see how you can get involved. Adjusting to a new school takes time. Seeing your smiling face from time to time may make the transition easier for your child.
Make friends first.
Reach out to your child’s new teacher. Ask if there’s a child your little one could connect with before their first day in their new school. Seeing a familiar face can make walking into a new classroom easier. As a bonus— you get to connect with that child’s parents, making it easier for you to adjust to your new neighborhood as well.
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