Change and transition is inevitable. Moving houses, school or locations will happen to each of us in our lifetime. A new career opportunity, acquiring a new home or joining a new school calls for changes.
What may seem easy to you may cause your child to panic. Transferring to a new school or different system of education isn’t a walk in the park.
For your child, it may be even more stressful because, well, they don’t really have a choice in the whole matter.
Here are tips on how to transition your child with outstanding results.
“There’s a little bit of pain in every transition, but we can’t let that stop us from making it. If we did, we’d never make any progress at all.”
– Phil Schiller
How to transition your child with outstanding results
Changing and transitioning to a new environment calls for concerted efforts from all parties involved. If not done well, it can lead to disastrous results that may harm the harmony of your family. This being so, you need to do the following:-
- Prepare your child
Begin preparing for transition at least six months in advance. This will help ease anxiety and help your child to accept and prepare for transition.
When you start the process early, your child gets ample time to process the information. They also get to deal with their feelings without getting overwhelmed.
It also gives your child the chance to understand why and how difficult decisions have to be made. They also get to consider the options available in making necessary life changes.
Be honest about the reasons why you have to move to a new location. Doing so will empower your child to adjust to the reality of transition with ease.
- Allow your child to voice their concerns and reassure them
As expected, your child’s will fret about losing relationships that have taken years to grow. This being so, the prospect of finding new friends and teachers can be a daunting task.
Allow your child to voice their concerns by discussing their fears. Talk about opportunities of moving to a new location and what it means to your family.
Explore opportunities of finding and making new friends. Remember to assure your child that they will remain in touch with their old friends. You can do this by emphasizing the importance of remaining in touch.
Take time to speak about the differences your child should expect. Emphasize on the benefits of moving. For instance, you can point out the new activities your child can consider signing up for.
If they like horse racing then you can point out available racing facilities where you are moving to. Point out how this will be an avenue for learning new things and meeting different people. This will make your child to look forward to the new adventure ahead.
Exercise caution, patience and understand where they are coming from. If you get angry, refrain from saying words that will trivialize their angst. With time, your child’s fear of separation will give way to the adventure that awaits them.
- Involve your child during the whole process
Involving your child does not stop at preparing them and voicing their concerns. You also need to include and involve them in the whole process including finding a school.
Since they are the ones going to learn there, their input is going to be of much value. Identify various schools before hand and visit each of them together. Share with your child the amount of school fees you are able to pay.
Allow your child to select the best three options and ask them to give reasons for their choice. By doing so, you will be surprised how keen and intuitive your child can be.
Involving them in the whole process gives your child a sense of empowerment. When they know that their views are valued and can be taken into consideration, a child feels valued. Of course, their views will differ from yours, but the idea is to make them feel valued.
- Get to know your new environment
Visit the new environment where you will be moving to with your child. Places to visit includes school, church, shopping malls and your new residence.
Visit several times so you can have varied perspectives and informal experiences. This will offer your child – and even you – an opportunity to learn what to expect. It will also help your child to start getting used ahead of the change.
Prior visits before you move to a new place has several benefits. As opposed to just liking a school from seeing its brand new school bus, visiting will enable you to learn more. Your child may end up making new friends that will help them settle when you finally move.
Change and transition to a new place may be a daunting task. However, it is possible to have a smooth transition that will bring your family joy.
Involving your child in the whole process gives them a sense of empowerment. When your child knows their views matter, they feel valued. Try as much as you can to involve your child in the whole process.
This list is not exhaustive. But it is a good place to start from. I know you have lots of ideas that you’ve used to transition your child. Why don’t share them on the comments section below or get in touch with us.
“Any transition is easier if you believe in yourself and your talent.”
– Priyanka Chopra
James Ouma is a CTI Clarity Coach, Cyclist and Writer. He is passionate about positive masculinity and helping incarcerated male teens to reconcile with their families and their communities. He loves staring at his bicycle, flipping through movies without watching them, and playing ‘tap out’ with his wife.