Adjusting to new schools

adjusting to school article

Has your child just started at a new school? Or has he/she just moved to a new teacher within the school? How is he adjusting?

Change in a child’s life often brings about change in their behaviour as well. This is completely normal. If your child is normally a confident, happy easy going child and usually has no problems with change, but is suddenly wetting the bed at night or is having unexplainable meltdowns at home in the afternoons, this can all be related to the change.

Remember that even though your child may be at the same school, he/she has a new teacher/s and there will be some adjustments that take place. It is our jobs as parents, to be able to support them through these changes.

These are some of the things you may be experiencing at the beginning of the 2016 school year:

  • Your child was happy to go to school for the first few days of school and is now battling to separate with some tears in the morning.
  • Your child cried for the first few days but is now happy to leave you.
  • Your child is tired in the afternoons because of the change in routine and a busier day than what they are used to and this sometimes results in “meltdowns” or “bad behaviour”. Remember it is important to allow your child to express their feelings (even if it is a tantrum) because they feel safe at home and are most secure in this environment. How we deal with them is the key. Always encourage your child (once they have calmed down) to use their words and explain how else they could have reacted to a situation. This is often easier said than done- believe me I know- but children mimic our behaviour so if we scream and shout they will too.
  • Your child is tired when they wake up and can’t believe it’s not the weekend yet!

Remember that the teachers are there for your child, if you have a query or a concern speak to him/her and address the issue together. Working together with the teacher is very important. They have had many similar experiences and their knowledge and expertise is very valuable. They too have your child’s best interests at heart and so ultimately you are working as a team for your child to reach their full potential.

At the end of every day make time for your child to really hear about their day. After you have read them a story or they have read to you, give them the platform to discuss their feelings. In my experience with my children (aged 5 and 3) this always follows story time because of the important bonding and connecting that comes with story time. They feel safe!

All children are different and we cannot put them all in the same box, so the adjustment period for each child will vary. So for now, hang in there, allow your child to express their feelings and know that you are not alone.


Written by Lucille Kleb

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