Moving can be stressful for all members of the family, but especially your kids. No matter the age, kids can have a difficult time adjusting to a move, especially once back-to-school season rolls around. Since summer is the most popular time of year to move, starting a new school after moving can be challenging, so here are a few tips for helping your kids feel less alone when starting a new school this fall.
Be a helpful listener
Your child’s reaction to moving may be exactly or entirely different than what you expect, so keep an open mind, be positive, and above all, be a good listener. Your child should know that you are there for them no matter what. Talk about the move frequently and share what that means when it comes to starting a new school, and listen to how your child is feeling about the changes.
Go for a sneak peek of the school
Giving yourself a sneak peek of your child’s new school can help not only your child adjust, but you as well. Once you figure out which school your child will be going to, take them on a walk through of the campus, checking out the classrooms, cafeteria, recess area, etc. Test out the morning drive or bus route, walk around the school hallways to get a feel for them, and start talking about what it will be like for your child to be a student there. This will make it easier on them once the first day rolls around and they already know what to expect.
Talk to the school’s staff
During your sneak-peek visit or before or after, talk to your school’s staff when enrolling your child about what they might be feeling or going through. Ask the school’s staff what resources they may provide for new students to help them adjust and feel more at ease when they first start. You can even get in touch with your child’s teachers to let them know how your child is currently feeling about the move and ask if they can help your child feel more welcome as a student.
Don’t set unrealistic expectations
No matter what, your child will adjust to moving to a new school in their own way, so don’t set unrealistic expectations for them. Keep the discussion open, especially within the first days and weeks of the school year, so your child can always come to you if they are having any issues with their new school, teachers, classmates, or the change in general. Remember how you felt when you were a kid and try to sympathize as much as possible. But still make the change fun, since it’s a new opportunity to make new friends in a new place.
Karen & Henry Seale