For the next school year many students will go through the experience of starting at a different school than the previous year. If adults find it difficult to adjust to a change of work, the situation is much more complex for children.
Some children have such changes and can express anxiety, fear of the unknown, as well as depression about having to leave behind friendships and a safe environment, known to them.
How to help them?
The key is to be aware of the emotional state of the child and to foster dialogue. It is important not to lie to them, to be honest and to explain to them why change was necessary, especially so that they do not feel that, to some extent, it occurs because of them. The child should be listened to and empathy shown, but the conversation should take a turn toward the positive, new opportunities and experiences.
Parents should not exaggerate or invent wonders about the new school, which will turn out to be untrue, and will complicate the child’s adjustment process. Nor should they be insecure because they will pass it on to the child. A clear, honest, compassionate, optimistic and confident conversation can make a big difference.
Try to take it to visit the school, facilities and location. This can also lead to a better adaptation. If you were playing a sport at the previous school or taking music classes or any other extracurricular activity, try to maintain your routine, even more so if you can keep in touch with friends from the previous school.
A more complex case
When the change is made as a result of a school failure, the situation is emotionally more complex for the child and for the parents. When a child fails in a grade and the teacher tells her parents that she understands that the school is not right for her child, but that the child requires more help, smaller groups or individualized help, the alternative of a school that works with children of education and special, is a logical reason for a change.
On both sides, however, there may be a sense of failure, of feeling guilty, of constantly thinking about what could have been done differently to avoid it.
We all dream that our children will be successful, that their achievements are even greater than ours. Whether it’s admitted or not, many parents feel fulfilled with their children’s academic achievements and create a competition with their friends, albeit in their minds, to show who has the brightest child.
This attitude shocks painfully against the reality that your child is lagging behind, that he or she will have to repeat the grade or switch to a special education school or group.
In this case, the sooner it is accepted that the child needs help to learn, that no faultshould be blamed, but to seek help for the child through specialists who determine what the problem is and what is the best school location for him , the better the process of adapting to a new school.
If necessary, parents should consult a counselor or psychologist to help them identify negative feelings that might be conveying to their child and that will be an obstacle to the reality of the new school.
Learn more about our Fonemi Academy. Click here.
Is a specialized school the best alternative for these children?
The right school location is one that will help a child learn. Keeping a student in a regular school of education who does not work with their needs is to allocate them to failure, because they will not eventually be able to insert the labour market and be productive.
The right school is one that focuses on working with its challenges, with gaps accumulated over years, with all laging skills that has not allowed a proper school execution. It is the one that does not make the marginalized child feel, lacerating his self-esteem, but instead manages to make him feel part of the group because, like him, the rest are also struggling to overcome challenges in his learning. She’s the one who teaches you the way he can learn.
The key to helping children adjust to a new school, whatever the reason for the change, is a positive but at the same time empathetic attitude on the part of parents. A correct attitude can heal wounds, eliminate fears and help build self-esteem. It’s the best way to prepare it, not just for a school change, but for life itself.