18 Oct, 2019
10 : 00
Due to the transient nature of Beijing’s international community, many students and adults can experience a sense of anxiety caused by the transition. From when a family moves to a new city or a child starts a new school – which can be referred to as major or unpredictable transitions; to minor or predictable transitions, such as everyday activities like tidying up your room or getting up in the morning, all these situations form part of transitions many of us experience in our lives. A transition can often be overwhelming for all of those involved, as it usually occurs whether we are prepared for it or not.
Children deal with transition in various ways. Depending on when and which type of transition takes place as well as the child’s development and their emotional intelligence, the challenges generated and the solutions for any transition may differ with each child and circumstances.Rachel George, School Counsellor at Yew Chung International School of Beijing, shares six valuable tips for parents to support their children when dealing with transition.1. Participate in your child’s school lifeParent participation in transition activities is strongly associated with children’s self-confidence, liking of the school and overall happiness. Getting involved in the various opportunities offered to become part of your child’s school’s life and understand the school culture. This can be in a form of parent workshops, parent classrooms, open days or student/parent activities. All these work towards establishing a sense of community and connectedness with the student’s new environment.
2. Attend Transition ProgrammesDue to the transient nature of an international school setting, transition is a normal part of every students’ daily lives and many international schools provide well-designed transition programmes to assist parents by providing tools they can utilize to lessen the effects of transition. Get in touch with your school counselor to find our more about the programme offered at your school.
3. Provide buddies or mentorsCheck if your school has a Student Ambassador programme. This is very common in many international schools where new students are usually provided with a buddy or mentor to help them settle in their new environment. This mentor can be someone from the same grade as the new student or with similar interests as the new student.
4. Involve your child in the transition as much as possible.Stress and anxiety is a result of a loss of control. Empowering your child to assist in decision making whenever possible will help alleviate stress. For example, allow them to choose decorations for the new apartment, or to assist in planning the first family outing in your new city.
5. Communicate with your child’s teachersIt is important for parents to communicate with teachers regarding any different behaviors they may notice at home. Sharing information is a great way to ensure that difficulties are spotted early and allows parents and teachers to work collaboratively to support children.
6. Create an inclusive environmentIt is pivotal for children to feel and know that they are being heard by adults in their lives. Listening to your child’s concerns provides a safe space for them to explore their emotions and come to you when they have concerns. Always create an environment that is conducive for them to express their emotions.