Post by resident author Sally Norton
Moving to a new city and starting a new school can be tough for children. For them, comfort zone and familiarity with places and people are very important factors, so losing all of that might seem like a disaster.
That is why almost all children experience stress and anxiety when they switch schools. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to help your child feel more comfortable, build coping skills and hopefully speed up the process of adapting to a new lifestyle faster.
It is always a great idea to start by talking about the reasons why this particular move is necessary and to encourage your child to keep an open mind. So, without further ado, here are some advice that might ease the transition.
Have a Family Meeting
First things first, you should start the conversation early. Talk with your child about the upcoming move. Discuss all the details of the move and why it is necessary. Be honest and upfront. Having an open conversation with young children or teens might seem like a difficult task, but you should do everything in your power to have one.
So, ask them about their opinions and concerns about starting a new school in a new city. Make sure to listen to their every word. Moreover, try to give them some advice and reassurance. Of course, you will not be able to fix and alleviate everything, all the fears and concerns, so, do not even try to force it. So before you call your Wolley Movers Chicago, make sure to give your child enough time to prepare and process everything.
Believe it or not, children see and do everything you do. So, in order for them to be positive about starting a new school in a new city, you must be positive as well.
Keeping a positive attitude is a must. If you are worrying or have a lot of anxiety, all that will be transferred to your children. That is why you should try talking about all the positive things of the move like making new friends or having more opportunities for better education or simply having an opportunity to decorate their new room.
However, that does not mean that there are not going to be any difficulties. There will be many of them, so you should do everything in your power to prepare your child. Moreover, you should always tell your children to look at the bright side of everything. Teach them how to make the best of the situation.
Give Your Children Some Control
Moving away from everything that is familiar and saying goodbye to all the friends they ever knew, as well as preparing to meet new people is overwhelming and sometimes children feel like they are losing control. And having no control is one of the most difficult things about being a child.
Most of the time, when changes are made, children do not like nor understand them. So, what you should do is give them an opportunity to take control. For example, you can let them choose their new room and decorate it. If you do not have time to pack your belongings, you should let a moving company do it, but if you do, involve your child in the packing process. Also, if there are a couple of schools in your new neighborhood, you should give your child an opportunity to choose which one to attend.
However, if you feel like that is a big decision to be made, then turn to smaller things. You can let them pick a backpack or some school supplies by themselves. Any control you give them will make them feel like their opinion is important.
Have a Sneak Peak of the New School
Usually, children feel stressed out because they are afraid of the unknown. Anxiety comes from not knowing what to expect. So, you should conduct a research about the new city and new school together with your child. You can research all the fun things that the city has to offer like amusement parks, shopping malls, beaches, green surfaces and similar. Then, do some researching about the new school.
You can see what classes are being taught there and all the extra-curricular activities being offered. Moreover, before the first day of school, go and visit it together. Walk around the school, see where each classroom is, look for the gym and cafeteria. Also, you should talk to the new teachers and the headmaster. This way, your child will know what to expect and hopefully feel excited about the upcoming move.
Help Them Meet New Friends
For most children, saying goodbye to old friends and meeting new ones is scary. When you are a child there is nothing worse than being alone and having no friends. Moreover, being ‘the new kid’ is always overwhelming. So, what you should do to help your child with anxiety is to make a plan about visiting old friends from time to time. And, more importantly, schedule a play date with some of your child’s new classmates and neighbors.
Of course, this depends on the age of your children. If they are teens, try to build a connection, you can encourage them not to be shy, to join some clubs or play a sport or do some extra-curricular activities at school. And, if you have younger children, try to schedule a playdate with someone else in your child’s class. There is nothing better than seeing a familiar face on the first day of school.