Our children’s education is one of the most important aspects of their lives. Not only does it prepare them for their future academic careers, but it gives them structure and helps them to socialize with other children. Having your children attend a school they feel comfortable in can make all the difference when it comes to how they perform in school.
Some children are forced to change schools due to a divorce or a change in custody or transition from public to private school or vice versa. Whatever the circumstance, changing schools can be extremely difficult for a child, especially if they’re undergoing other changes like living situations and adjusting to a new routine. We want our children to thrive in school and to feel comfortable. If your child is going to or has recently changed schools as a result of a divorce or change in custody or if they’re switching from private to public school or vice versa, keep reading for some tips on how to make changing schools easier.
Schedule a Tour of the New School
The thought of attending a new school can seem daunting for a child regardless of age. Not only do they need to find their way around an entirely new building, but they’ll be surrounded by new classmates and teachers. To ease their mind and to help them feel more comfortable on their first day, schedule a tour of the new school in advance. Ask the school if they can have a guided tour where they can meet their teachers so they can get a sense of their new surroundings. Touring their new school in advance will help them feel fewer jitters their first day.
Have Open Discussions
Divorce and changes in child custody are hard to cope with as an adult – imagine how difficult it can be as a child. Children thrive on routine, so when their world is changed whether it be a new living situation or a new school, they can easily feel overwhelmed and stressed which can affect their academics and behavior. To help them make a smoother transition to a new school, have frequent open discussions.
Discussions with your child are healthy for both of you; they’re able to discuss concerns or worries with you and in return, you can help them solve their problems. Much like changing jobs is stressful for adults, changing schools is stressful for children. Having frequent open discussions will help them get acclimated a little easier while also keeping you informed on how they’re adapting.
Establish a Consistent Routine
As previously mentioned, children thrive on routine. Parents understand that the tiniest change in their child’s daily routine can completely throw off their behavior and sleep. Adjusting to a new home and a new school means their routine will be drastically different, however, there are still ways you can establish a consistent routine to help them thrive.
Be sure to keep some things consistent in their new routine before and after school: make sure they wake up at the same time, have similar after-school activities, keep their nighttime routine consistent, and go to bed at the same time. Keeping some similarities from their previous routine at a different home or school will help them adapt a little easier.
Kids need play. Whether they’re 5 or 15, children thrive when they have adequate playtime, especially with their parents. Attending a new school can feel lonely in the early days before they start to make friends. Playing with them and spending quality time with them each day can help lessen the feeling of loneliness. It doesn’t have to be much, but try to schedule in some park time after school or play a board game with them after dinner. Making time to play with them each day will make them feel comforted and less lonely as they adapt to their new school.
Our children mean the world to us and we want them to be as comfortable as possible as they transition to schools and adapt to an entirely new environment. While it may seem intimidating to them and it may take a while for them to adjust, touring the new school in advance, having frequent open discussions, establishing a consistent routine, and scheduling play are some ways you can help them adjust a little easier.
If you’re currently going through a divorce or are searching for a family law attorney to help with a change in custody through a modification, the attorneys at The Law Office of Young, Kuhl & Frick, LLC can help. We’re dedicated to the practice of family law and can help guide you through any family law matter keeping your best interests in mind. With over fifty-three years of combined legal experience, our family law firm is comprised of a team that’s skilled in both negotiation and litigation, handling family law matters from the most complex to the most straightforward.
We have offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Leawood, Kansas (consultations by appointment only). In addition to our two physical locations, our firm’s family and divorce attorneys have practiced in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Lafayette, and Platte County, Missouri as well as Johnson County, Kansas. Contact our family law firm today to schedule a consultation – we’re able to meet in person or face-to-face via Zoom.