Parents often transfer their children from one school to another for various reasons. However, it can be a struggle for little ones who have gotten used to a certain school, teachers, schoolmates and routines to have to switch over to something completely new and different.
Children are surprisingly resilient and usually adapt quite quickly, but there may be some kids who find it difficult to bend with the wind. If your children are not doing well after a school transfer, what are some ways you can help them out?
Prepare your children for the change to a new kindergarten
Talking about a big change beforehand is always a good idea to prepare children for anything new – whether it is potty training, a new sibling, or indeed a different school.
Tell them what is going to happen and run through possible scenarios with your children. This helps to prepare them, equipping them with full understanding and prior knowledge so that they are not taken aback and caught by surprise when things are different.
Remember that for toddlers, they do not really have a firm grasp on time, so you do not have to start talking about a big change too far in advance, as this might cause more anxiety – just what you do not need.
Show them the new school that they are going to transition to
Most parents tour potential schools to see if they are suitable for their children. You can include your children in this process by bringing them to your shortlisted schools and seeing how they react and interact with the new place, teachers, and schoolmates.
If it is not possible to tote your children around for school tours, do at least bring them with you for a visit after you have decided on their new kindergarten. Showing them where they are going to be moving to will ease some concerns and make their first day of school much less of a surprise if they already have some idea of what things will be like there.
While you are there, introduce them to their new teachers and point out the parts of the school that you know will appeal to your children. It would also be helpful if you could find out beforehand if there will be any interesting activities going on that your children can take part in along with the class.
Offer your children some closure when they leave their kindergarten
Holding a little farewell party can do wonders for children who are reluctant to leave their old school behind. A party lets their classmates fuss over them for a little bit and gives your children the chance to share some meaningful gifts and cards with them. This sort of farewell party can turn a potentially sad event into something more celebratory and gives your children something lovely to remember.
It is also a great idea to take photographs with the class and teachers during the party so that your children will have mementoes to look at if they miss their friends.
Equip your children to handle big changes with books and drama classes for kids
One way to give your children the tools to deal with major changes is to read to them. There are many good books available in bookshops and in local libraries, and plenty of curated lists online that you can check out for books that would suit your little ones.
Another way of helping your children cope with change is to send them to drama classes. If children are attending external enrichment classes, this can help to give them some consistency despite the change in school.
Drama classes give children the opportunity to rehearse roles, characters and a whole range of life situations, helping them to explore and address some of the ideas and feelings they experience. This allows children to make sense of their ‘real’ life problems and helps them to learn about themselves and important coping mechanisms.
Written by Danielle Hee