Tips for parents whose kids are starting a new grade

Tips for parents whose kids are starting a new grade

You can never be too prepared for the emotions and mental state of mind required when starting a new grade. 

Kids showing hands during a lesson at an elementary
Kids showing hands during a lesson at an elementary/iStock/@monkeybusinessimages

And just like that it's time to get ready for school again. It may feel like yesterday when the kids went on holiday (for the kids that is), but they have been home for just over a month now. 

The excitement is real and some are feeling the anxiety that comes with starting a new grade or even a new school. 

It's never easy going into a new grade or starting at a new school. It can be just as daunting for parents as it is for children. But don't fret, we have done the leg work and have compiled a list of tips to help both you and your kid/s with the transition. 

There are a lot of things to consider when starting a new grade or school, that's over and above the stationery and uniform list. 

"Your child may be worried about fitting in, making new friends and/or managing the academic demands. The anticipation may be making them feel irritable, short-tempered and even physically ill." (Parenting Hub)

1. First things first, check your mindset. If you are feeling anxious or out of sorts, best believe your kid can sense that and may be feeding off your feelings. As parents, it is your responsibility to put your child's feelings before your own, especially when it comes to their fears. 

2. Don't be dismissive of your kid's feelings. "It is important that you empathise with your child about the possible “what if’s” that may be running through their head. It is sometimes easy to dismiss these worries as irrational or ramble off a cliché of sorts to ease their minds – but that offers them very little comfort. Rather focus on practical solutions to empower them." (Parenting Hub)

3. Be as prepared as you can be. Make sure that you discuss things like expectations from a new grade, teachers, and the school as a whole with your kids. Arm them with knowledge, when you know things, you feel less anxious and more in control because you know what is expected of you. 

4. Be a social butterfly. Kids learn by example so, if you want to encourage them to engage more with other kids and with school activities, you should do the same. Make an effort to volunteer at school, attend school meetings, etc. 


5. Remember to be patient with yourself and your kids. It can be daunting to embrace change and with any new thing, it takes time to transition. So, don't give in or up, keep at it and eventually you will find your way. 

"If it does however appear as though they are experiencing severe anxiety or signs of school refusal, it may be a good time to ask your child’s teacher for additional support or contact a professional to assist your child with the transition." (Parenting Hub)

With anything in life, there are moments where you won't be in full control, but as a parent, you can make that easier for your kids by getting all the information you can and by staying on top of things. Seek out help if you need to, teachers are experienced and can sometimes be a world of help. 

Stacey and J Sbu podcasts

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