Starting at a new school can be stressful, challenging, and exciting all at the same time. It’s only natural for you and your child to feel nervous about such a big change.
Even the most confident child will take time to adjust – but there is plenty you can do to make sure they’re prepared.
There are lots of uncertainties when your child starts a new school. But one thing is certain: you’ll need to buy the the essentials like a bag, a uniform, and stationary equipment. Focussing on the practicalities is a great way to help you both feel in control and be ready to go on day one.
Planning the route to school
It might sound silly but practicing the journey into school a couple of times can really help with those first day nerves. It’s also helpful for working out the timings so you aren’t late on the first day!
If your child is using public transport, check the timetables so you both know what time they need to leave the house on school days. If they’re walking in, make sure they know the way. It’s also worth seeing if they can meet friends en route so they don’t have to walk in (or home) alone.
If you’re driving your child in, check the parking situation – is there a car park at school? If not, identify a side road with no parking restrictions where you can drop them safely and wait for them after school.
Make a good first impression at school
First impressions matter, so be confident! Remind your child that if they walk with confidence people will think they are confident. Remember, everyone will be nervous and trying to make a good impression. So encourage your child to imagine what type of person they would like to meet, and be that person for other people.
Starting at a new school means they’ll probably experience peer pressure to be “cool”, but it’s always best for your child to be true to themselves, On a similar note, there’s no rush to get a “new best friend” straight away. Encourage them to relax and get to know people a little better first.
Comparing the new school to the old school
Don’t compare the new school to your old one, even if they really miss their old school. One day soon, “new” will become “normal”. They will adapt, it just takes time
Joining clubs at a new school
Encourage your child to join a team, a club, or an activity – it will help them become part of the life of the school. They could get stuck in with something they already enjoy, like singing, or even broaden their horizons and try something new. Joining in is also a great way to make new friends. After all, people who share the same interests are likely to be their kind of people.
Focus on the opportunities
Positivity matters. So, help your child focus on the opportunities of starting at your new school – such as making new friends and trying different extracurricular activities. They will be nervous – after all, unknowns can be scary. So, try interventions such as breathing exercises, getting active, and having “me-time” to help them stay calm.
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