It is natural for kids who are going to a new school or a new after school program to need some adjustment time before they are used to the new place, new rules and new routines. Some kids have no trouble adapting, but others may need some help.
Here are five ideas for helping your child as they adjust:
- Find a friend. Having even one good friend in a new place can make the adjustment process so much easier. Try to find out who your kids are hanging out with at school and see if you can get together with the other child’s family outside of school. Time together outside of their school or day care strengthens their and a friendship. Having a good friend, will make them look forward to heading back everyday.
- Accentuate the positive. If your child id having problems getting used to their new school or day care program, try to focus on the positive. Ask them what they did like and focus on that. Look on the website or talk to the staff to find out if there are any fun events coming up. Put these on the calendar so your child has something to look forward to. That will keep them focused on the fun.
- Have patience. Don’t get upset or frustrated if your child is having trouble adjusting. Maybe they throw fits in the morning and say they don’t want to go, or cry all the way to school. Just let it go and know that it’s temporary. It’s hard when your child is upset, but they do adapt and sometimes it takes time. If you get upset it makes it worse. So stay calm even if you feel frustrated.
- Get involved at your kid’s school. If you have a shy child, then you getting involved in groups sets a great example. It’s also a way for you to meet other parents, set up play dates or parties, and help your child build their own group of friends.
- Keep a routine. Routines make kids feel safe. If you stick to a certain routine everyday, then this will make their adjustment process much easier.