5 tips for parents if your child is changing schools

Changing schools is a delicate matter that sometimes remains overlooked. Imagine yourself switching to a new home. It may be in another neighborhood, another city or even in another country. You would surely feel a bit anxious even though you are an adult. Changing school feels like changing home for children and you have to be prepared to make the transition a smooth one.

While there are many things you can do to prepare your child (and yourself) for this change; from Medicure Clinic DSO, we give you the five most important tips to follow.

1 Accompany your child to school

Support from a parent might be invaluable for your child's first days in the new school. In case your son or daughter is very nervous about the change, be sure to visit school with him/her. Meet the teacher collective and his/her classmates. Do a quick tour around the building including key places like classroom or lunchroom, your child's personal locker, toilets and others. Depending on the level of anxiety, this might take a week or even more, but don't let it linger on – you have to inspire a sense of self-reliance in your child.

2 Connect with other parents earlier

If you feel that your child might be too stressed by school change, use the summer months to your advantage. You may not be the only parent anxious about this issue. Look for ways to connect with other parents of your child's future classmates. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or the school principal might help to organize a meeting for parents and children.

3 Don't let your child's skills rust

Three months are a long time and the re-integration to the school process can be shocking. Being in a new environment and starting with good grades is a huge self-esteem boost. During the summer let your child play and enjoy the holidays, but also keep in mind the learning process. Don't put too much pressure and organize little games instead. Encourage the application of different skills to everyday activities – maths for grocery shopping, casual reading, the occasional family logic and word games.

4 Don't show your anxiety

Anxiety is a natural thing to occur - both for you and your child. You are worried because you are not sure how your son or daughter would do in a brand new environment and if you've made the right choice. Not knowing what will happen next is a universal fear. In any case, be sure to never express concerns or pessimistic thoughts about the transition in front of your child. Instead rely on optimism, confidence and joyful associations, emphasizing on the fun side of uncertainty and the challenges that your child will conquer.

5 Organize everything beforehand in case of special needs

In case your child has some special needs (learning disability; emotional disorders; specific allergies, related to food or others) go ahead and speak with both the school principal and teachers. Discuss the most suitable scenario for integrating your child in the new class and lay down the communication process in case of emergency or issues.