It is never an easy decision to move your children to a new school. To be honest, I wish I could say that my children never had to experience this, but things change. With my career change, we have decided to send our kids to the district that we live in. This will allow for them to ride the bus to and from school and keep me from driving an extra 30 minutes out the way when I will be working from home half of the time. Now that I have convinced you and maybe myself (for the 100th time) that I am making the right decision, I would love to share with you some things that I have found helpful during this transition.
Tip #1 Stay Connected
If your child has been in school any time at all, it is a given that friendships have been made! If your child hasn’t, you as a parent have most likely connected with parents over the years and those relationships have blossomed into wonderful friendships. Continue to plan cookouts, shopping days, luncheons, and even sleepovers for the kiddos! Make an effort to continue to do these things so that your child knows that those friendships will continue to hold even when they might not see them at school every day! After talking to some of my friends that are parents of my children’s previous school, I am reassured that in today’s world it will be so easy to keep in touch. My oldest will even continue to be tutored by her favorite fourth grade teacher from her previous school. Find ways to stay connected!
Tip #2 Reach out to New Families
During this journey of trying to make the best decision for our family, I reached out to friends who also had students in the new district that my girls would be going. They shared things they loved about the school district so that I could share them with my girls. Another thing that our new friends did is they planned a back to school get-together to give our family and opportunity to meet some of the students and families that our girls would be going to school with. There is nothing better than walking into a new school or classroom and seeing a familiar face! One of the moms even had the kids write down some worries or areas where they needed prayer during the school year. I am so excited about the families that have blessed our lives here in Henry County and we haven’t even started school yet!
Tip #3 Validate Emotions
When change takes place, emotions are usually running at an all time high. Some of those emotions are positive and some of them are most definitely negative. One thing that I have tried to remember is to validate the many different emotions that are flooding their hearts. Allow your children to share their feelings. If they need to let out a big cry, let them. If they want to be angry for the next 10 minutes, okay. But understand this…they need you to listen during these moments and they need you to understand that their feelings are real. The more they share the better they will feel, and the better you will understand. Listen. Validate. Encourage. Love.
MAKE IT FUN!
- Fashion show to pick out first day of school outfit
- Try out some new lunchbox meal ideas at home before heading back to school
- Paint your nails or get a haircut so you feel fresh (yes, I’m a girl mom)
- Write your new teacher a letter or make a card to share your excitement for the new year
- Make or order some spirit wear to represent your new school
There are so many ideas I could add to this list, but the bottom line is to make this experience a positive one for you and your kids. Changing schools should be an awesome opportunity for your kids to shine their light! Now, let’s make sure we do what we can to keep it from dimming before they get there!