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Navigating School Changes: Transitioning Your Kids For A Smooth Move In Atlanta

Moving, like all other major transitions can be tough on kids. This can be especially true if the move requires a change in schools. Kids find comfort in familiarity so a new routine and place can cause them to have anxiety about the situation. 

As a parent, it’s your job to help ease the transition as much as possible. Whether you’re about to move or just settling in we have advice and some other resources for you to use to make the transition to a new school and new place less scary for your child. 

We’re here to help you prepare and ease the anxiety your kid may be feeling during your move in Atlanta and make going to a new school that much easier.  

Start the conversation early 

Give your child as much time as you can to process the upcoming change. Having an open and honest conversation about what the move means for them is one of the most important things you can do to help kids conquer their anxiety. Ask about their concerns about starting at a new school and provide reassurance and advice when needed. You won’t be able to eliminate all their fears, but knowing you’re there for them gives them the stability they need to get through it. 

Keep a positive attitude 

Kids have a keen eye for picking up on your perceptions of a situation, so if you want them to stay positive about moving, you’ll want to be positive about it too. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the difficulties of switching schools, but you should play up the exciting aspects of it. Focus on the opportunities and not the drawbacks. 

Give kids some control over the situation 

A lot of fear around moving to a new house and school is centered around a lack of control. Having such little control over your environment is one of the most difficult parts of being a kid, and it can be compounded when changes are being made that your child doesn’t understand. 

Combat this by providing them with an opportunity to make some choices and control some aspects of the process. For example, if there’s an option of which school they can attend in your new neighborhood, let your child visit each one and make the decision themselves. If there is only one school choice let them have some control in smaller ways, like picking out their new backpack, school supplies, and what they might want in their lunch. Any amount of control you give them will show your kid that their opinion matters and in turn gives them some stability in a stressful period. 

Go on a tour 

To help kids adapt to a new school, go for a visit before their first day. Walk around the building, meet the principal and their new teacher, and get a feel for where the places they will often be are. This way, when the first day comes around, they’ll already have a general idea of what to expect. 

Create a routine together

Familiarize your child with their new school routine before it starts. Come up with a plan for what mornings will look like and drive or walk to the new route. This will help take as much guesswork as possible out of what the experience will be like. Hold on to as many traditions as you can from your previous school routine – carrying them over will introduce added layers of familiarity.

Get involved 

If you have the time, it can be helpful to your child if you get involved in the new school yourself. Go to the orientation sessions, and sign up to be a class parent or PTA member. Engaging with your kid’s new school is a way to tackle this adventure together. 

Talk to the school’s staff 

Own your own, meet with your child’s new teachers and principal to get them involved in easing the transition. They might be able to introduce your child to a classmate who was recently the new kid in school themselves. They can also check-in with your child during the day to make sure he or she is doing okay and offer advice as needed. Having an on-the-ground support system will help your kid adjust and help give you peace of mind too. 

Schedule a playdate 

One of the scariest parts of a new school for kids is having to make new friends. Even in elementary school friend groups can be well established and breaking in is hard. You can help facilitate friendships by scheduling a get-together with someone else in your child’s class. This will help provide them a way to get to know a new classmate one-on-one. 

Sign them up for an extracurricular activity 

Another way to help your kid form new friendships is to sign them up for an after-school activity. Help them choose one or more they might enjoy and get them enrolled as soon as you can. It might be easier for them to connect with their peers over a shared interest. If they say they don’t want to do any activities, our advice is to go ahead and sign them up on your own. Sometimes that extra push is needed to get a child out of their comfort zone. 

Don’t forget the last school 

Make a point of keeping in touch with old friends and go back to visit if you’re close enough. While the focus shouldn’t be all on the old school, the memories shouldn’t be minimized either. 

Schedule lots of quality time at home 

Be sure to make family time a priority, continuing both the routines and traditions that help your child feel safe and happy. Siblings are great confidants in scary situations. If you have more than one kid, encourage them to talk to each other about how it’s going with their new school. It will be helpful for your child to know they always have a support system at home. After all, home is where their family and their stuff is, two big comforts from their old home. 

Don’t set unrealistic expectations 

Be patient with your child’s transition. Even extroverted kids may not adjust to a new school right away, and setting expectations about when or how they should be adapting isn’t going to do them any favors. Instead, always be there to lend an ear when needed. Something that might not seem like a huge deal to you is going to feel a lot bigger to them. Be supportive, present, and a non-judgmental shoulder for your child to lean on. 
You can help kids adapt to a new school but as much as you would like to you can’t do it for them. Know that things will eventually get easier and one day the new school will be just as comfortable as the last one. Hopefully, with these tips, you can help you and your child adjust to this new way of living in your new Atlanta place! Contact us to schedule your move for your family.

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