A Guide for Parents & Students
Positive Suggestions for Dealing with Change
Keep in mind that children are used to change and they usually adapt very well. Each year brings change – although not necessarily a new school, but a new room, teacher, classmates, and routine. For younger students, change is nothing new. For middle school aged students, change is preparation for their future at Central High, college, and careers. Here are some helpful hints:
> Positive Outlook – Emphasize the positive. If you are enthusiastic and confident, your child will be too!
> Make Time – Particularly on the first day of school, chat with your child. However, don’t prolong your goodbye. If your child complains or clings, extending departure will only make it harder.
> Encouragement – Help your child find the best way to become involved. Students who participate in school activities will adjust more quickly than those who don’t sign up for clubs, sports, and athletics. Teachers and guidance counselors have the information you need, so ask.
> Simplify – During the first few days of school, personal schedules should be free of any conflicts, such as a doctor’s appointment, events, or activities. It is important to establish a comfortable school routine.
> Communicate – Let your children know they can talk to you. Express understanding about their concerns and tell them you know they will be successful. Let your children know you love them and that their feelings are natural and common.
> Be Flexible – If your child develops new likes and dislikes, relax. Talk about important things like friends and new classes.
> Understand – There may be some mood changes as your child adjusts and faces new challenges. Be understanding and patient while trying to engage the child in positive activities.
> Ask How You Can Help – Maybe a bit of extra lunch money, a ride to school, or a visit with a friend after school could help.
> Recognition – A small token of encouragement, such as a lucky charm, bookmark, or journal may help in the transition.
> Ask for Support – If you notice anxiety increases or continues past the first few weeks of school, ask a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, or other support staff for help.
> Love – Above all else, it is important to let your child know you love and appreciate him or her.
The benefits of staying involved in your child’s school life are immense. Take extra interest in hearing about the day, try to help with homework, get to know his or her friends, and let it be known that you care. Even as children grow, they need to know their parents are always there for them.
> Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to talk to your parents, your teacher(s), administrators, and guidance counselor.
> If you are a new student, admit it. Reach out and say to someone, “I’m new, and I don’t know anyone. Can you help me?” Many students and teachers will befriend newcomers. Wouldn’t you?
> Remember that you’re not the only new student, and recognize that feeling some anxiety is normal.
> Realize that making friends takes time.
> Go in with a positive attitude. If you believe that this will be a new opportunity, then it will become one.
> Get involved. Join a club, sport, or activity. If your school doesn’t have what you like, make an appointment with an administrator – maybe you’re just the person who needs to get it started!
> Write down your concerns and bring them with you when you visit your school. You can be sure to get the answers you need.