New things are perceived differently by everyone. Some people love the idea of a new star and change whereas others gain anxiety from the thought of it and tend to steer away from it. Sadly, children are not exempt from this and will have to deal with different changes of their own. This could be moving house, making new friends and most commonly settling into a new school. it is important to know that the transition can be bumpy for them and maybe something that they really struggle with. Regardless of if this is your child’s first-time attending school or simply moving to a different one, angry behavior, anxiety, sadness and other relapses are something to be expected. These reactions are something that tend to pass quickly however, with some children it can remain for a very long period of time. It is difficult seeing your child struggle with something new in their life when you as a parent know it will bring them good. If you are currently getting ready to send your child to a new school and are worried that they will struggle with the change, then you have come to the right place. Here is some advice from an International School in Mill Hill on helping your child settle into a new school.
Allow your child to feel and express their emotions. The most important thing you can do for your child is to encourage them and show support when they are needing to offload their emotions. Try not to tell them to stop crying or that they don’t need to feel upset. This will not help with their levels of anxiety and will instead force them to repress their emotions and become more upset. acknowledge what they’re feeling and ask them if they would like to talk about it. Let your child know that you are aware of the situation and how they may be feeling and ask them if they want some comfort. Allowing your child to express their emotions could lead to them breaking down and having a tantrum but is also an extremely healthy response in this situation. Be sure not to add to their feelings as there is a difference between empathising and projecting.
Make the drop off easier. School drop offs can be stressful especially when your child is new to the school they are attending. With big crowds of parents and teachers and lots of noise, your child may find this extremely overwhelming and glue themselves to you. Arrange a time for your child to go in before the manic so your child and avoid this time. Drop off can also be better when someone else other than you do it. If you know your child is very attached to you and they will struggle with saying goodbye to you at the door, find another close family member or friend to do the drop off for you as they may be calmer and more composed.
Remember to keep your own emotions at check. If you are being emotional and showing high levels of anxiety your child will only reflect this. If your child sees you being stressed, they will believe that this is the right way to behave and will add to their levels of anxiety. Keep your own nerves and sadness at bay to ensure your child contains their confidence. lots of deep breaths and positive affirmations as well as working through your own feelings can be what helps your child through their first steps at a new school. Don’t forget to show them lots of love and support too!