Whether the long holiday was jam-packed with activities or filled with complaints about being bored with nothing to do, children often have a tough time making the back-to-school transition.
Back-to-school time inevitably brings many changes for children and families. It can be a season of new school settings, as well as new classrooms and new teachers. As with any new situation like starting school for the first time or attending a new school, children need some time to adjust. And parents have the responsibility of helping their children battle these butterflies.
Children going to a new school particularly need to be reassured that it won’t be a tough road to travel. Even if they are afraid to make new friends or get along with their new teachers, they have to be fully focused on their school work and know their parents can be there for them also.
Mrs. Uchechi Ogbonna’s daughter and last child just got into primary three in a new school. But contrary to the excitement that surrounded her resuming classes in a new school, eight year old Ifeoma is withdrawing from sharing her enthusiasm of her new school with her family.
Initially, she was so excited about her new school, but having attended some classes after resumption, she has suddenly become withdrawn. But her behaviour didn’t go unnoticed. Her bright eyes and cheerful disposition gave way to gloom and lack of enthusiasm whenever morning comes.
Mrs. Ogbonna said: “I noticed this immediately and sought for ways to make her open up to me. I asked her what she thought about her new school, what her teacher was like and the names of her new friends. I made her feel that her feelings mattered to me as well as her social and academic life.”
In addition, Mrs. Ogbonna also made her new teacher her ally. This will make her give her any feedback she needs regarding her daughter’s re-adjustment to her new environment at school. Getting her teacher to tell her what happens at school everyday makes it easy for her daughter to adapt and also eases her mind.
“However, I have noticed that the extra time my daughter and I spend chatting and talking about her new classmates relaxes her. It makes her feel safe and secure in her new educational setting, even though she’s still anxious. I assure her that I will always support her. I am not overprotective of her though, she has to face the world herself.”
Adjusting in a new school is not easy for Mrs. Ogbonna’s daughter but it is an opportunity for her to make new friends, who come from different backgrounds and also get to know her new teachers. It may not be what she is used to in her previous school, but she has to learn to adjust.
“With my care and support, I am sure she will make it through this transition and come out a stronger girl. At the end of the workday, I put aside my concerns and focus on being a parent to my girl.”