Yet the transition into Year 7 can be eased somewhat if parents are aware and appreciative of this enormous and significant change in their child’s life. Here are five tips of things you can do right now to ease the adjustment into Year 7 for both your child and your family as well.
A child will feel a lot less anxious if they know where they are going on their first day at the new school. Many schools will run induction days for new students prior to the start of term but if your child wants to put their mind at ease, ask them if they want to see the school again before they start the new term. Even doing a ‘dry-run’ one morning before the school term begins can make thoughts of the first day a lot less formidable.
Children quickly get used to making new friends and as a result become quite confident socially with children they don’t know. Encourage your child to join clubs and activities over the summer before school starts which will not only build up their self-confidence but may enable them meet some of their future fellow students.
Building your child’s self esteem and preparing them emotionally is equally as important as making sure their uniform and school kit are labeled and neatly ironed for their first day. Marie De Daunton, Educational Psychologist at Kids First said, “Remind children about their strengths and encourage them to use these to face the challenge ahead. Also highlight that they have faced challenges before and identify what skills they have used in the past to overcome the challenges.”
Your child is growing up and becoming independent but it still important to be on hand to offer information and advice on issues such as homework, school schedules, time management, revision techniques... Children can always benefit from your experience and will appreciate your input when they need it. Be careful not to be too overbearing - your child can easily become reliant on your help. Instead encourage them to develop their own independence.
The move to secondary signifies the bigger picture of your child moving into their teenage years. Be aware and recognize what lies ahead so you can set the boundaries early on. “The vital thing to know about parenting teenagers is at this transition point they need us,” explains De Daunton. “In the long term, naturally, they will learn to do everything they need to do without us but during this transition time we need to be available, firm, fair and approachable. How we negotiate this time in their lives can impact on the relationships that we will have with them as adults.”