Helping Your Child Adapt to a New School

Changing schools can be a stressful experience for children. Because school is like a second home and is very often the center of children’s social life, it's important to help them adapt as quickly as possible. Here are a few suggestions to help with this transition.

  • Talk to your children: Before you choose a school, talk to your children so you can understand what their needs and preferences are.
    • Find out the things they like best in their current school.
    • Ask them what things they like the least.
    • List the sports and activities that they want to continue.
    • Ask what their core curriculum courses were for this year.
    • Ask how they would feel if their new school is much larger, or much smaller, than their current school.
  • School tour: Take your children on a school tour before you select the school so they can be part of the school decision.
  • Dress style: During the school tour, note how the other students dress so you can help your children fit in. This may help diminish feelings of being the new kid on the block.
  • What to expect: Let your children know what they can expect at the new school.
  • What to look forward to: Highlight things that your children will like most about the new school.
  • Potential obstacles: Prepare your children for potential obstacles they may encounter.
  • Special programs: Find special programs that interest your children so they can join and begin to build friendships with their peers.

Most importantly, listen to and address your children’s concerns and feelings and help them adapt. This can be a great opportunity to bond and help your children learn important life lessons.