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Supporting Your Kids in Change

expat life expat mums expat parenting expat parenting abroad Jun 04, 2019

How do you support a change process for you kids?


Last week was ‘transition day’ for our girls. They had the opportunity to go and spend some time in their new classroom, with their new teacher, and their new classmates. 


This was such an exciting day in our household. Not only are the girls super excited about the next school year and the fact they are getting ‘bigger’. But they are already excited about who they will be working with. 


I really feel this is something that is handled really well by our school. The kids are all given the opportunity to write down the names of five friends they would like to have in their class. There’s no guarantee they will have all of them, but ideally one or two. I was super impressed with Miss J, she put down one person who is a close friend. But then the other girls on her list were people she knows of, but isn’t really friends with. I asked her why she did that? “Because I would like to learn to work with different people of course!” Yes, of course… what was I thinking!?! Then a few weeks later, once class allocations are finished, they get to experience this transition day. 


It means that we can go away for the summer, with our nine weeks off!!, and the girls can talk about their new class and teacher with our family. We often bring back a New Zealand or Australian book as a gift for the classroom, knowing who their teacher is in advance gives a sense of purpose to that gift. 


Also being able to talk about it is so important for the change process. We all know that any change in an organisation must be supported with communication, at all levels, well it’s the same with kids. This is especially important if your kid is a little sensitive, which is the case for Madam S. Our concerns were completely alleviated when she comes home with her reading homework for the holidays, and is literally spinning with excitement. Skyping the grandparents and sharing what she will have to do while staying with them. The fact that one of the tasks is to read a book in the bath has really tickled her!


I will encourage them to write stories for their new teacher about their holiday experience (great way to keep the writing skills going), and they have even talked about making a mini video series about their holidays, something that they can share with their new class then they get back. It’s all about supporting the change process, and giving them access to the tools and language they need to adapt to the change. 


What does your school do? How does it impact on your kid? 


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