Starting Primary School and Transitioning to Secondary School can be times of great excitement, potential stress and big change and families play an enormous role in helping children to manage these times successfully.
There are lots of simple things that parents can do to help their child prepare for the changes ahead and to make their transition smooth and successful. Some of these include:
- talk with your child about their feelings and thoughts about starting school/ transitioning to high school
- help them to think about some of the things in their life (routine/ relationships/ skills/ interests) that may change and/or stay the same
- acknowledge their concerns whilst also assisting them to develop their excitement and curiosity
- establish and practice a bedtime and morning routine that will encourage them to ready themselves for school in time
- practice identifying their possessions and their name (perhaps for the preppies, not the high schoolers as much!)
- practice packing and carrying their school bag
- (if possible) visit the school, visit their classroom and meet their teacher
- (for more ideas have a look at our blog on Getting Set for Prep or Transitioning into High school and adolescence)
And don’t forget yourself in this transition! Though starting school is a big step for your child, it is a significant milestone for parents and carers too. It is just as important to check in with your own thoughts, feelings, concerns and needs, and plan (even practice!) for how you will manage these through the transition. It is a common time for parent to connect with their peers, their family, community groups and services, helping them to feel confident, prepared and supported as they support their child and family transition into a new chapter.