Changing schools can be difficult for children, at any age. Often, moving to a new home, and losing touch with school friends and families can cause a lot of emotional and behavioral issues.
There are several things that you can do to ease the transition.
Seek help with any existing behavioral issues first
If your child has any existing issues around anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem, or similar, then changing schools could potentially make these worse. Getting help as early as possible could help you deal with these. Places such as the Alpine Academy are dedicated to this. You can read Alpine Academy reviews to see if they could be suitable for your family.
Start preparing them as soon as possible
It might seem like a good idea to shorten the amount of anxiety or upset your child might feel by not telling them about the move until the last minute. While it might be easier for you, it’s not good for them in the long run. Tell them as soon as possible and talk to them about how they’re feeling.
Keep it upbeat
Even young children can pick up on things that you say, or any negative feelings you might have towards the move.
So when you’re talking to your child about the move or even discussing things with your partner, don’t discuss any negatives or concerns you may have had. Focus on the exciting aspects and keep it positive.
Let them get involved
The feeling of overwhelm in your child can often stem from having no control over their situation. After all, they probably weren’t involved in choosing a new house or school. Find things that you can give them some choice over, like decorating their new room, or choosing their bag and stationery for their new school. These might be small things but they can go a long way to giving your child some feeling of control over their life.
Try and meet new classmates outside of school
Making new friends is going to be the key to settling into a new school environment. Try and get the contact details of some of the parents in your child’s new class and set up a few playdates before they start school. That way, when they show up for their first day, they’ll already know people.
Keep in touch with old friends too
Try to keep ties to your child’s previous friends and school. It’s good for them to maintain these connections, especially if they’ve been particularly close. Even if you’ve moved far away, you can still have video chats.
Give them time
There’s no timetable for your child to feel at home in a new school and make a lot of new friends. In some cases, it may be quick, for others, it might take months or longer. It may not be a straight path either, your child might settle in relatively quickly, but then begin to feel the stresses of being in a new environment later on. There’s no right or wrong.