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Supporting the smoothest transitions back to school.

Beginning a new school year and moving into new school routines after a holiday break can be unsettling; especially if a child is starting school for the very first time. 

Starting school is a major transition in early childhood. How secure a child will feel about being in a new environment such as kinder or school will depend on how secure they feel within themselves.

If a child has a resistance toward,  or has a fear of,  transitioning into school this  does not imply there is something wrong with the child.  After all, we can all feel insecure at times when we are facing an unknown new environment.  It is important when our children are experiencing  transitions such as the start of school that we attend to theirneed to be safe and secure and offer affirmative responses so the child can transition with ease. 

Successful transitions into school in a social sense as well as emotionally and intellectually correlate with further progression of achievement throughout the child’s life.[i]

How the home-to-school transition is undertaken can make a vital difference to children.

Research indicates that for some children starting school can cause stressors, such as anxiety, that affect some children’s emotional wellbeing. This, in turn, can affect the child’s long-term social adjustment, which translates to problematic future learning.[ii]   

When a child has secure transitions into school they experience enhanced emotional wellbeing and feelings of capability, which in turn will result in fewer difficulties in later schooling.[iii]  

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So in effect,  when there is  emotional support available for the child they have a more positive transitional experience from home-to-school.  

Supporting children to process the often bigfeelings they encounter as they step into a 'new world' means that we as adults have to be able to handle big emotions ourselves.  We have to be able to hold the space for our children to understand and process their feelings.

Often parents themselves also find the separation from their child difficult and adults can unwittingly get caught up in their own needs at such times - rather than attuning to what the child might need. 

If you reflect for a moment on your own childhood - you might recall how those early transitions from home to school were for you. Taking time to recollect attunes you more closely to what your child could possibly be experiencing in this change.  

Maybe you felt abandoned, or alone? 

Perhaps you were not supported to know what to expect from the new situation?