Lots of adults have difficulty dealing with change, so it should be no surprise that many children have the same trouble. And in a child's world, almost nothing is as big as moving and changing schools.
Here are several things you can do to make it a little easier.
1. Visit the school before the first day. At the very least, you want your child to see the school from the outside. If possible, arrange for a tour. Many schools have newcomer programs that partner a student ambassador with a transferred student. Inquire if your new school system offers such a service. If not, consider asking a child from your new neighborhood to help out.
2. Your personal outlook about the move will greatly influence your child's perspective. Remember you are not only a parent, but a role model too. If you are not thrilled with the change, try not to let your feelings color your child's experience. Try to be positive and upbeat about the move. It will help your child approach the situation with a similar attitude.
3. Kids need to feel they are loved and supported, especially during times of change. Make sure you are available to listen and talk. Although you are likely to be overwhelmed yourself with unpacking, meeting new people, and even a new job, you should make your child's needs a top priority. And if they come to you with a concern or fear, don't gloss over their worries. Explore how they are feeling and brainstorm answers together.
4. Create and stick to a daily routine. Most children thrive under a structured schedule. Create before and after school routines that will help them adjust to life in their new home and their new school.
5. Show your child how much you care by getting involved where you can. Meet their new friends. Attend sports games. Introduce yourself to the other parents. Children may not always show it, but they appreciate this type of interest and support.
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