Ways to Help Your Child Feel Comfortable in a New School and Environment

Going to a new school can be an intimidating experience for any child, regardless of their age. In fact, as children grow older, it is harder for them to adapt to new environments, make new friends, and settle in. As a parent, the process of making your child settle into a new school requires a lot of encouragement, understanding, and patience. Parents are the biggest support systems for school-going children and, therefore, play an important role in how a child settles into a new school and environment. 


As a parent, it is vital to prioritise your child’s emotional well-being, involve yourself in their education, and look for schools that offer comprehensive support systems. With the right tools and support, you can help your child navigate this transition with ease and set them up for success in their new school environment. In this blog, we’ll explore a few strategies that will help make the transition to a new school easier for your child as well as you as a parent. 


Prepare In Advance


Transitioning to a new school and environment can be very daunting for a child. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare your child the best you can for the upcoming change. Some ways you can do this is:


Visit the school

Arrange a visit to the new school with your child. Have a staff member meet them and show them around the place. This will ensure your child is at least familiar with the landscape of the school and can find their classroom, the washroom, and cafeteria by themselves on the first day and does not feel completely lost. 


Talk to your child

Have an open conversation with your child where you acknowledge the challenge of facing a new environment. Ask them for any anxieties or worries that may be nagging them, and reassure them the best you can. Also, familiarise your child with what they can expect at the new school. Make sure you keep the talk positive and do not demoralise or pressure them. 


Involve your child in the preparations

Going to a new school can make children feel quite powerless and as if they have no sense of control over their lives. Therefore, allow them to make small decisions they can control, such as picking out their supplies, such as their backpack, tiffin box, etc., what they would like to take for lunch, and so on. 


Open Communication

It is not only important to keep open communication with your child about how they are feeling and what they are experiencing in their transition journey, but also with their new teachers about how the child is doing. As a parent, it is crucial for you to have all the information you can in order to make your child’s transition smoother. 


Share personal experiences:

Sharing your own experiences of starting something new can be comforting for your child. Talk about how you felt when you started a new job or moved to a new city, and explain how you overcame your initial nervousness.


Check-in with your child:

Make sure you ask your child how they are doing regularly, and also monitor their appetite, sleep, and general mood. Make sure to ask questions about their day, how they are finding the new school and environment, about their new classmates and friends, and how they are finding their studies. Ask open-ended questions and create an environment at home that encourages them to talk freely. 


Talk to their teachers:

As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your child is thriving in their new environment. One way to do this is to take feedback from their new teachers regularly during the transitioning phase.  You can also share any concerns you may have with their teachers, who, in turn, can provide you with resources to navigate the change. The teacher may also highlight any challenge your child is facing and guide you on how to help them through it. 


Encourage Social Interactions

Encourage your ward to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports or creative activities, depending on their interests. This will help them interact with other students who have similar interests and make friends easily. You can also speak to the parents of other children who your child is comfortable with and arrange for fun play-dates. This will not only help your child get along easier with their peers but also help you make friends or acquaintances with the other parents in the new environment. 


Involvement in School Activities

As a parent, it is important for you to integrate yourself into your child’s new school environment so that they feel more at ease. You can do this in various ways, such as volunteering at school events, being a part of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), and attending all school functions regularly. 


In addition to this, you can also get involved in your child’s daily school routine, such as getting ready together, having breakfast together, or dropping and picking them up from school if your schedule permits. This helps your child feel less alone and can confidently make their way into the new environment. 


Positive Home Enviroment

Understand that this transition will probably be the toughest on your child and will also pave the way for how they handle change in their future as adults. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a positive home environment for your child’s mental well-being. Ensure their diet and sleep habits are consistent. Set aside some family time for each day. Experiencing the comfort of routine and family will definitely help your child navigate external changes better.