Helping Your Child with Transitions

Note: This information is also available in Farsi, French, Punjabi, Spanish and Simplified Chinese  through links at the end of this article. 

Children and their families can find it difficult to transition to a new school or class. Try these tips to make the process easier for everyone.

 Tip 1 – Give Extra Attention:

Be positive and upbeat about the new class or school. Parents’ moods and attitudes can greatly affect children

  • Talk to your child about the new school or class and provide as much detail as they want
  • Answer questions and respond to your child honestly. Talk about the things that may be exciting as well as those that may be worrying to your child.
  • Involve your child in the plans and let them practice things they will need to do, such as sitting quietly, or dressing themselves

Tip 2 – Practice Going to School:

  • Use books and stories to explain the start of school and what will happen at school
  • Use pretend play, toys or puppets, to practice using the school bus, or being in the classroom
  • Visit the school and playground as many times as possible before the start of school
  • Practise using the school bus (Ask at the school of child care centre about any planned activities related to using the bus.)

Tip4 – Be Realistic

Set realistic expectations about the transition. Generally, teachers expect new children to feel comfortable in their classes in about 6 weeks. Some children need less time; others might need more.

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