When your child has to change schools

   April 12, 2012 8:24 am    4


This is my little school changer. The youngest of my kids, he moved from the only school he had ever known (where he went to countless events with his older siblings) right after kindergarten. I moved him once in high school and then moved him back all in the same year. Today, he’s an honor student in college.

Being forced to change schools can be an emotional roller coaster, but the thing about change is that it is inevitable. As parents, we have to support our kids. But we can’t let our emotions get in the way of change that affects our kids — because it’s not about us.

To help kids through changing schools, be positive. An article on how to help kids cope is right here. And a lot of it has to do with knowing your child’s temperament. Help them out in ways that are specific to what they need — again, not what parents need.

For some families, moving regularly is the norm. It is still stressful, but families do adapt. Look at military kids — they move constantly. But if a move is going to devastate your family and your child, consider the options: moving, home schooling or a charter school. Sometimes, looking at all the choices enables us to relax and make the right choice without getting too involved in emotions of the moment.

Kids adapt more easily than we do. Once they get involved in activities in the new school and make new friends, the next life changes and choices will be much easier. Someday, they’ll need to choose a high school, part-time job, post-high-school education or training and a career — all big changes they should embrace, not dread.

When change is forced on us, it’s no fun. But adapting teaches our kids a life lesson that change can be good — even better than we anticipated.



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4 Responses to “When your child has to change schools”

  1. momof4amazingkids says:

    We’ve moved twice away from “home” with our 4 children of all ages (currently 3-15). And are looking at moving again. We are not military but my husband still has to be transferred and there are only so many places we can go. When we moved to El Paso, TX my kids did amazing. Big schools (like Millcreek, where we left) and normal conveniences. However, moving to an extremely small town in Maine has left them with a bad taste in their mouth and more so ours. In fact, we drive almost an hour for normal events such as grocery shopping and doctor’s office visits. For the kids it’s dance class, gymnastics and baseball leagues are our current pleasures. My greatest advise, if you’re going to uproot your children to a new area, try to explore it best you can before you make a final decision. We are looking to move to the area an hour away and my husband commute to work simply because the schools are better and the area offers what we have been missing. However, that means an hour longer we miss our husband/daddy every day. Just a word of caution to those considering moving. As far as how my kids adjust, they’ve done great! My now 9th and 2nd graders can’t wait for the next move. Even my 5 yr old getting ready for kindergarden in the fall seems to have a sense of excitement when it comes to meeting new friends. Of course, if we get transferred back to Erie, I think we’ll stay put for a good long time since all our family and long time friends are there!

  2. Michael McGraw says:

    I am in the military and it seems that you are implying that simply because someone is in the military that a move is “no big deal”. I find that you are making this generalization without truly knowing. My family has moved 5 times in 4 years. We have come to accept that we will be moving generally every 2-4 years but that does not by any means make it “no big deal” perhaps a better way to phrase it would be: some families are more adapted to moving however, this it not to say that multiple moves are necessarily easier on them. Bottom line: moving and uprooting a familiy is always a big deal no matter how accustomed to it a family may be.

    • Pam Parker says:

      I totally agree. I have friends and family who also are in the military and move frequently — I think they just make it look easy. I have the utmost respect for anyone who can make these changes.

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