Every child experiences a bit of anxiety on their first day of school.
For those children who are starting a new school after the divorce of their parents, it can be especially difficult.
All of these new changes can become overwhelming, eventually spilling over into performance in class and after-school activities.
To best help your child or children transition to a new school, we’ve collected 5 tips that we believe will be useful.
1. This Isn’t The First- First
Just like adults, children sometimes forget that though they are experiencing something for the first time, it’s not the first time they’ve experienced something new. Remind your children how they handled past transitions that were scary and intimidating at first. Circling back to how successful they were in learning to ride a bike, or make new friends after joining a new neighborhood team can encourage them to embrace this new experience.
2. Meet The Parents
Both your children and you require support. Other parents can be a great resource in educating you about the community and school. You can learn more about activities for your children to join and potentially set up playdates with other neighborhood children. Those parents who share similar stories can also provide emotional support during your transition.
3. Connect With Teachers And Coaches
Prioritize your children’s school orientation and open houses. By getting involved in these activities you can learn more about your child’s school and instructors. Remember that teachers encounter students with similar experiences every year. They will be a great ally for you in understanding what your child will need from you to be successful in class.
4. Talk It Out
Create an environment where your children are able to express their emotions openly and candidly. Encourage them to share their concerns and questions. Help them to identify their anxieties and then create a plan together of how they can overcome them. If they’re nervous about who they’ll play with on their first day, encourage them to jump in and join teams. By preparing for obstacles in advance, you help empower them to take on the challenges in stride.
5. Give It Time
Ultimately, every transition takes time. You’ll need to be patient with yourself and teach your children to give these new changes time. As nature takes its course, you both will find yourself settled into your new lives in no time.