Parents can help make a new school a friendly place for students of any age.
Talk with your child about making friends, and let her know you understand it can be lonely to be the new kid, and that even adults can feel uncomfortable in new situations. Assure her
of your support, and try these ideas to make your child a part of the new school easily and quickly:
o Let your child know she needs to make an effort to be friendly, even if she's shy. Perhaps it can be a game to see how many people she can say "hi" to each day.
o Explain to your child everyone likes to be asked questions about their own interests. Help her think of questions she can ask other students, like "Do you play any sports?" "What's your favorite -------?
o Be aware that fads and fashions can be very important to kids as they try to "fit in." Try to be flexible in letting your child wear what's stylish at the new school, if possible.
o Have your child take a small item like a photo of her pet or a post card of a place she's visited that she can show and share with others to start a conversation.
o Don't forget the usual ways of making new friends at school, like joining activities like safety patrols, sports teams and choral groups. Encourage your child to invite classmates home to play if you can manage it.
Some children make friends quickly and are soon part of a group, but if it seems very difficult for your child, talk with her teacher about other ways you might help her.
Having friends and belonging are important for children, and help to make them happy and successful at school.
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