By Alek Sabin
There are few things in a child’s life that can be as stressful as going to a new school. Such a shift of events can be an overwhelming experience for a young mind that is still developing social skills and finding their place in the world. Feeling like an outsider is something that nobody feels good about. But life is full of changes. Learning to adapt to a new environment is an important life skill that everyone must learn. As a parent, it can be helpful to try to minimize the shock factor of moving your child to a new school. Here are some tips to help them not be overwhelmed.
Keep a good schedule
At any point in life, one helpful way to avoid stress is to keep organized. Being at school is a great place to develop this skill and find ways that help you stay organized. First, build a schedule that helps your child keep their head above water. Schedules are often seen as boring or too difficult to keep up. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of fun and creative ways to create a schedule that your kids will love to follow (here’s a helpful article for some ideas on how to do this).
Find outlets for new friends
The hardest part of going to a new school is that your child’s previous social circle will have to be rebuilt in a new environment that they are not used to. While this can happen naturally at school, and it often does, it can also be a challenging place to meet new friends with so many new people. Find outlets, like after school activities, for your children to find kids who have similar interests.
Get to know the area
Often, a huge part of going to a new school is moving to a new area and a new home. Not only are our children experiencing a new environment of socialization and learning, but their very home life has now changed. Although there are many factors, consider the environment for your child when you are moving as well as when you are considering what type of home to get (read this convenient article to help in that process). Make sure you are taking your child out to get to know the area and all the perks it has. This will make them feel more comfortable and more like they belong. The more they feel like a local, the easier it will be to make friends.
At the end of the day, there are going to be stressful parts of moving to a new place. There is no way to avoid that stress is going to eventually find us in our day-to-day life. Sometimes, the most important thing that a person can do to mitigate anxiety is just breathe. It reminds us that nothing is quite as big of a deal as you think it is. A good idea is to teach your kids breathing exercises. This trick is used by many therapists to help people with anxiety disorders deal with stress.
The best way to avoid being overwhelmed is to keep ahead on responsibilities. If you can teach a child techniques to do this, they will be able to use them for their entire life.