Most of you are now in week two of the secondary school term. Personally, we are on day 5. The Jewish holidays are making in tough for my 11 year old and his friends to settle into school. They are occurring every week for the next 3 weeks, which means settling back into school is stop/start.
The children go to school for three days then have two off. They go for three days and then have one and a half days off. It is really unsettling for them. Every time they have a few days off it is like they are starting their first day of school all over again.
For those outside of the religion too it can be difficult to find your feet. It can take months before your child feels they are settling into their new environment at secondary school, as there are many changes from primary school. Parents need to help their child take it in their stride so they don’t feel overwhelmed by the new classrooms, new teachers, new subjects to learn and new people and the pressure to make new friends. So much to do all at the same time!!!
Tips to Help Children Settle in Secondary School
Parents should try to make sure that your children are settling into secondary school by communicating with them and showing that we are interested in how their day went:
- Ask them every day about what they learnt
- Who did they make friends with and who did they chat to?
- We can get them to discuss with us their thoughts about the lessons and the teachers and how they think they are coping.
- Notice the progress your child is making. Say out loud to them how proud you are of what they have achieved in terms of independence.
- Keep the dialogue open and get them to see that their parents are there to support them and there to help them until they feel that they are doing okay.
- Let them take the lead.
Let’s not assume that after a few weeks that children are fine and that they have everything under control. For many children they will still be settling in until half term or maybe until Christmas. There will be many worries and concerns for them so make them aware that you are there for them.
Give them lots of love and cuddles and remember it is okay for them to struggle getting to sleep or for them to feel anxious. Change and new experiences bring both fear and excitement and that’s what they are experiencing too. It may take a while for them to settle back into secondary school but it will be easier if they can talk to you about their worries and problems.