Helping Your Child Transition to a New School

January 10, 2023

Changing schools can be a tough experience for some children, at least at first, and especially for younger kids who might have trouble understanding what's going on and why. With the right basic approaches from parents and teachers alike, however, you can transition your child into a new school with as little struggle and hassle as possible. 

At Devlin's Child Development Center, we're happy to welcome kids coming to us from any other program into our preschool classes and other child care services. What are some simple ways parents can assist their children if they're in this situation, both in the immediate term and long-term as well? Here are some basics.

Help Them Learn About the Neighborhood

Especially if this school transition has been necessitated by a move to a new city and neighborhood, it can be beneficial for kids to learn about the area and its features. Perhaps there are nearby parks, stores, or other landmarks that you can point out during a driving tour of the neighborhood. This will help them orient themselves to their new home and school surroundings.

You should also work to help kids become familiar with the school itself. This can include walking through the grounds, checking out the playground, or simply peeking inside classrooms if that's allowed by school policy. When kids feel like they know what to expect at this new place of learning, it helps them to visualize and prepare for their upcoming time there.

Connect With Teachers and Staff

Introduce yourself or your child to the school administration and other staff members as soon as possible. This is a great way to get to know the people who will be interacting with and teaching your child on a daily basis, plus it's an opportunity for them to learn more about who your kid is and what their needs might be.

If possible, bring your child(ren) along when meeting with staff, or even have them lead the tour of the grounds. This will give them a chance to become more comfortable in their new surroundings and talk about what sorts of activities they're interested in.

Help With Finding New Friends

For many children, one of the most challenging parts of switching to a new school is making friends. That's why it's important for parents to help foster those connections, perhaps by arranging playdates with other kids in the area or inviting classmates over for meals and activities.

Here are a few approaches parents can take in this area:

  • Brainstorm good friend qualities: Before meeting anyone, it's a great idea to discuss what kinds of characteristics make someone a good friend. By presenting these ideas in terms they can understand, kids will better be able to recognize who might make the best pals for them.
  • Encourage socializing: Sometimes parents need to give their children some gentle nudges in certain directions when it comes to socializing. This could include suggesting that they sit with certain people during lunch or helping them out with introductions when they first meet other children.
  • Conversation starters: Some kids don't know how to start a conversation with someone they don't know very well. Offering up some phrases or questions to break the ice can be helpful in this situation.

Encourage Empathy

Within the broad realm of socializing, one of the most beneficial things parents can do is help their children understand the value of empathy. Encouraging them to be kind to those around them, even if they don't know each other very well yet, will create a better environment for everyone at the new school.

This means helping kids think about how their actions and words might affect someone else, as well as how to respond in a respectful and compassionate way. It's also important to keep in mind that everyone faces different experiences and challenges, so it's essential for kids (and adults!) to be open-minded and understanding of diverse backgrounds.

Encourage Participation in School Activities

One great way to help kids make friends and adjust to their new school is to get them involved in extracurricular activities. Whether they choose sports, clubs, or other pursuits, this can be a great way for them to make connections with fellow students who share the same interests.

It's also a beneficial use of time since it keeps kids from sitting around the house and playing video games or watching TV for hours on end. And if nothing seems appealing, parents can suggest possible options to explore.

Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs

It's important for parents to remain alert when it comes to their children transitioning into a new school. Sometimes kids may experience bullying or have trouble keeping up with the workload, and it's essential to catch these things early on so you can offer the necessary support.

So, parents should pay close attention to any changes in their child's behavior, such as an unwillingness to go to school or complaints about not wanting to meet new people. If anything seems off, don't hesitate to reach out for help from the school staff.

By employing these approaches, parents can help their children adjust to their new school environment with as little stress and difficulty as possible. With the right attitude and a few well-planned steps, your child will be off to a good start in no time!

For more here, or to learn about any of our preschool, daycare or other child care services, speak to our team at Devlin's Child Development today.

We are eager to hear from you! Fill out the form below to schedule your free tour

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Devlins Logo


9310 So, State St, Sandy, UT 84070
Hours of Operation:
Sun Closed
Mon-Fri 06:30 AM - 06:30 PM
Sat Closed
Copyright © 2021 Devlins Child Development Center
envelopephone-handsetmap-markercrossmenuchevron-downarrow-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram