It is not easy being the new kid in school; making that smooth transition in both the academic and social life in the new school should be a thing that every parent helps with. Here are a few pointers on how to go about it; helping your children find their place in the new surroundings and making new friends.
Steps to Take Before You Move
- You should have a healthy open communication with your child. Moving to a new school can be a challenge for them as the have to say goodbye to their old friends. Talking and listening to them shows them that you sympathize with for their situation.
- Get your child involved. The reasons for moving might be due to marriage issues or employment, so they need to feel that they are part of the decision-making. A good example is by allowing them to choose the color or theme for their rooms.
- Familiarize yourself with the settings and surrounds of your kids’ new school. View the school’s website if they have one, visit the school, talk to the administration and ask about any activities taking place.
- If applicable, find out if the school has programs or resources for gifted students or students with special needs. Find out if the school has a formal orientation program, or if it has a friend program designed for new students.
- Talk to your realtor. He/she might have information on the best public or private schools in the new location.
- Up your social skills by going over how you will introduce yourself to your new neighbors. Involve your children in the process by role playing; it will help them when they introduce themselves to the other students in their new school.
- Timing is of the essence. If possible, plan the move at the start of the school year and before your child becomes a teen.
Steps to Take After You Move
- Pay more attention to their behavior and spend more time with your children. It will show that you care about their concerns.
- Try to get your children involved in social activities within the new place or school. They can take up dance classes, boot camps, and other activities. It will be a great way for them to make new friends. Hence, try to find out that activities exist before you relocate and get them involve a.s.a.p.
- Children are fashion conscious, especially teens. Visit the popular clothing stores to check out the trending fashion for the kids.
- Consider getting involved with your children’s school. A great way of doing this is joining the school’s PTA or being a school volunteer. It is excellent opportunity for mingling with other parents and exchanging suggestions and tips.
- Focus on your kids’ education and not just their grades. Talk with their teachers and find about their social behavior. Ask how they are adjusting in class and with the other students.
- Don’t lose touch with old friends and the same should be strongly advocated for the children. Let them communicate with their old friends by phone and by mail. Arrange occasional visits if possible.
- Keep the same family activities like movie nights, game nights and family dinners, even after you relocate. It is a way of having a continuity and help keep the channels of communication open in the new setting.
- Above all else, be patient! Give your children time to settle in, even if it is a year; let it be at a pace of their own choosing.
- Be a positive role model to your kids. Have a positive thinking and approach to all issues that might arise, celebrating all new experiences as you are settling in. Take your kids to the trendiest social locations like restaurants and theaters in the new town.
- Counseling should be an option worth considering if you note some distress in your children because of the move. Sleepless nights, low appetite, not talking, are just some the indicators that suggest things are not okay. Some professional help such as consulting with a therapist might help soothing things.
Moving to a new school can be difficult experience for the family and especially for the kids. However, having a positive attitude towards the move helps your children adjust to the new place and school.