Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Get children ready by being proactive. Actively preparing children for a new school can help children, young and old.
#1 Feeling Sad, Mad and Scared Let children express their sorrow, fear and anger. Encourage children to talk about how they feel as they prepare for the school year. Talking about feelings of sadness or anger usually helps people clarify their thoughts and let off some steam. Watch for new behaviors or acting out, as they might be signs that the child has something they need to say.
#2 Encourage Participation Each Step of the Way Try to make planning for school fun. Include children in shopping for school clothes and supplies. Be aware of, but not ruled by, new local customs and styles.
#3 Moving Forward with Confidence Go together to see the new school, playgrounds, restaurants, shopping malls and other places that are important to a child’s life. Walk around, explore, talk and encourage questions that children might have about their new community.
#4 Get Back to Normal Get the family back into pleasurable activities as soon as possible. For example, if a child loves soccer, find a team that they can play on in their new neighborhood.
#5 Renewal Moving to a new school gives children an opportunity to reinvent themselves if so desired. Now might be the right time to adopt new attitudes and behaviors as well as start new hobbies or recreational activities.
#6 Help Children Prepare to Meet New Kids Meeting people is easy for some and difficult for others regardless of age. Depending on the child, it might be wise to teach him or her how to meet people and make new friends. Make a game of practicing the act of making a simple introduction. Little things can make a big difference in easing fears and building confidence. Simple skills to practice at home include:
Establishing eye contact and smiling at people (even if people do not always smile back).
Asking about an open seat on the bus, in the classroom or in the cafeteria: “Hi. Is this seat open?”
Briefly telling classmates about themselves: who they are, where they are from and what they are interested in.
Being interested in others is equally important. Teaching children to ask questions will help them get to know other people: “What is your name? Where do you live? What school do you go to? What grade are you in? What do you like to do?” Also, teach children the importance of remembering people’s names.
#7 Check In Consistently Asking regularly how a child’s day went is important regardless of the answers. With teenagers, it might be a simple “okay”. Ask with interest and wait for answers; sometimes hearing what children are not saying can be equally important.
About merge2gether.com (http://www.merge2gether.com): merge2gether was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Oakland, California. merge2gether.com is an online community offering resources to guide people as they think and talk through the process of moving in with another person. The company provides free information, questions-and-answers and ideas to people of all ages and at all stages of life.