Starting a new school for your kids is a major event in their lives. Whether they are going from elementary to middle school, middle school to high school in the same school district, or you’ve moved and they will attend a new school in a new district…your kids may have a lot of nervous feelings.
Moms are great at sensing when their kids have some anxiety, and they usually handle it pretty well. However, you may be a single dad. Whether you are married or single, you play an important role when it comes to helping your kids adjust to a new school. Here are 5 ways you can help your kids adjust.
1. Be involved.
The tendency is to allow your wife, your kids’ mom, to be there to handle the new school jitters. Don’t be passive during this time. Be involved in the entire process. Talk about it, attend functions, and pay close attention to how your child is adjusting prior to school and after school begins.
2. Share some of your firsts.
Share examples of the first time you’ve done something. The examples may be from your childhood or they could be from your adulthood. An especially good example is being a dad for the first time. Help them R.E.L.A.X. by watching this video from a child to a child.
3. Expect some ups and downs.
The emotions and feelings they experience may go from high to low. Connecting and meeting new friends may be a high, but getting lost in a new building may be a low. Be prepared to have conversations about each one.
4. Tune up your listening ears.
As men, we tend to want to solve problems. Turn down your problem solving senses and turn up your listening senses. With new friends your child may not feel comfortable discussing personal things, and you (or mom) may be the outlet. Don’t just expect it to be mom. Be ready to be the listening ear.
5. Meet the teacher.
Depending upon your kids’ age, there may be a meet the teacher night. Make sure you are there. It says something to the teachers, students, other parents, and most importantly your child when dad is there.
Huddle up with your kids tonight and ask them: What are you looking forward to most about starting in a new school and what are you most afraid of?
Huddle Up Question
“I am looking forward to your experience at your new school. I am here for you and would love to hear about all your experiences.”