How To Help Your Nervous Child Prepare For Secondary School

If your child is nervous and/or they are moving to another school without many of their friends, they may be at risk of stress and anxiety. 

Now Christmas is over it is time to look ahead and now, all that “putting off stuff” must be done now! If you were putting off thinking about how your kid will cope with secondary school, you need to wake up and pay attention!
The months will fly by and before you know it summer will be here. Then the dreaded uniform and book shopping begins.
However, the biggest thing is your child may or may not be ready for secondary school. If your child is nervous and/or they are moving to another school without many of their friends, they may be at risk of stress and anxiety.
Here we give you tips on preparing your child for secondary school so they will be ready for what lies ahead.
Talk about it 
It seems simple but then most parents know how hard it is to talk to their children. Some kids love conversation and are happy to be questioned on their feelings and worries whereas others will close down and will do anything to not open up. When having the discussion, ensure you are supportive and don’t brush off their worries. They probably know it will be alright in the end but that doesn’t stop worrying, and your child needs an ear right now.
Plan for it
Make sure your child is as prepared as they can be by ensuring they are organised and know how to manage their time. The changes to their school life will be huge and if they are struggling right now, they will find it harder in secondary. Put good habits into place by encouraging them to work on their homework alone, complete tasks without supervision and plan their bag for the next morning. Stop mollycoddling your kiddie and let them pack their lunch, walk some of the way from the car and give them an opportunity to be responsible. There is no point expecting them to change once they start secondary as your child needs practice, and lots of it.
Be realistic about the new changes
Your child will have new surroundings as well as new people to get to know, new subjects and lots of challenges. Your child may feel safe in their current school but secondary brings a whole host of pressures at a time when your child is hitting puberty and finding themselves. Be honest about the issues they will face with your child and offer solutions to your youngster. Maybe get a whiteboard at home that your child checks daily to see what they need to do and give them a space in the house for learning and quiet time. In this space have sticky notes, pens and paper at hand for busy days. Encourage your child to use this space to their advantage.
Remember they will find it tough
Your child will find it hard for a few days and they need to know this is the case. There is no point avoiding the issue. Moving school is hard and secondary is tough too. Making friends will be one of the biggest issues as some kids will be fine and others may struggle.
Don’t let your child put themselves down
Your child may not be good at every subject, but they still should recognise their skills so in the months prior to secondary school. Peer pressures are normal at this age and you will find your kid will see every other student as better than them, but they need to be in a good place mentally and physically to tackle secondary school well. Have a good attitude at home and encourage good management of their stress or anxieties so they feel secure.
Your child will be nervous about the changes ahead but you can help by just being there for them and supporting them in the early days.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

Read more by Emma
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