How to help children transition to a new school and environment-How to help children transition to a new school and environment-Clara Benacerraf
Clara Benacerraf
05 October, 2023

How to help children transition to a new school and environment

How to help children transition to a new school and environment-How to help children transition to a new school and environment-Image_ICS_Madrid_2021_10

For families with children, the month of September rhymes with the start of the school year. And for some of them, this return to school takes place in a new country. This often generates questions, concerns and uncertainties, which increases with the language barrier.

What mindset should we adopt to best support our child during this transition? 

Here are some thoughts to ensure that the start of the school year goes as smoothly as possible.

Why is going back to school often a source of anxiety, especially for children who are new to school, or even to a country?

Because the brain does not like doubts and will therefore create scenarios. He will even imagine the worst, just to prepare himself for it.


Then come the “what if…”:

“What if I don’t understand what someone is saying to me? »

“What if I can’t make myself understood? »

“What if I get lost?” »

“What if others are mean to me? »

“What if I can’t make friends? »

Our children may experience normal anxieties: those of abandonment, rejection and loneliness. Because ultimately the challenge for them is to integrate as quickly as possible into their new environment.

As parents, how can we help? First of all, let’s get rid of our own fears!

Let's admit it: we, parents, have serious concerns, because for us too everything has to be invented in this new life. And the well-being of our children is a major concern!

By accepting our concerns while realising the positive aspects, we gain confidence and serenity to help our children.

Back to school is a period of transition and adaptation. Our children will try to adapt as best as possible and most of the time they succeed. It may be interesting to remind them how they were able to adapt to other situations: a new nanny or a new daycare when they were little, new friends they managed to make in a daycare center where they knew no one, or a substitute teacher to whom they adapted quickly. All these experiences show that they have the intrinsic resources to manage stress, setbacks, and difficult emotions.

The return to school is, for children who are new, a transition from the reassuring, caring, loving family bubble to a completely unknown universe. By supporting and accompanying our children in this transition, we can teach them how to find inner resources in the face of all unforeseen circumstances. 

The most important thing in this support process is that they are convinced that, whatever happens, they can count on us!