For many children September will see them starting a new school. For some it will be an easy transition but not for all!
There can be many reasons that your child is starting a new school – from those starting their school life at primary level, those making the transition from primary into secondary school, transferring schools because of previous problems or perhaps your family has relocated.
Whatever the reason settling into a new school can be nerve-wracking to even the most confident child.
There are many things that your child may be worrying about, from adapting to a new and sometimes much bigger environment, apprehension about making new friends, missing old friends in their old school and for some the fear of being bullied.
It may be useful to put some time aside for your child to discuss any fears they might have and, depending on the age of your child, perhaps to make some suggestions as to how they might be able to ease the process a little.
Always reassure your child that what they are feeling is totally normal and they are not alone. You can help your child by finding out information about their new school such as clubs, activities and sports on offer. Suggest that your child joins at least one extra-curricular activity. It is totally normal to feel nervous in new surroundings but encourage your child to be positive and perhaps break the ice by smiling at someone new. It’s a great opportunity for your child to take some time identifying the different crowds and deciding where they fit best.
Writing a diary may help your child through this time giving them a chance to express their feelings in a private way. Sometimes this can help, as after only a few weeks they will realise how far they have come. Help your child to keep in touch with old friends who may have gone to other schools or have been left behind in your old hometown. This is made so much easier with Skype and texting, which all help to stop your child feeling isolated. Find out about local activities out of school and try to get involved as a family. What are your child’s interests? Whether it is ballet, football or gymnastics there will probably be a local group which may have members of your child’s new school attending. Plan something special for your child at the weekend, something that they will be able to look forward to and focus on during the first few days of school. Try not to worry if your child becomes overwhelmed, even crying, this is all a natural response as they try to cope with new people, a new environment and a new way of life.