Five Tips for End of School Transition

Summer is Coming…

You might be bracing yourself for another transition for your kiddo.

So, as much as you are looking forward to the long summer days of play and fun, you might also be feeling anxious about how you and your child will cope with another year coming to a close.

Why is it that the end of the year is so hard for some children and in particular for children who have joined their family through adoption?

Transition, Unpredictability, Loss…

When things are changing and there are unknowns ahead, which can trigger a stress response in your child – otherwise known as “fight or flight response”.

Once again as the school year ends, we say goodbye to classmates and teachers, some who we may not see again. This is a loss for your child. Even when the break in relationship is only temporary – they will see each other again next fall, it can feel permanent.

Structure and predictability can help a child to feel safe and secure. Summer is most likely filled with free time that did not exist during the school year. The lack of structure can also cause your child to feel additional stress.

Reactions to stress and unpredictability can occur physically, emotionally, behaviorally, and mentally. Below are 5 tips we think are useful in helping to cope with this upcoming change.

  1. Talk about it. Spend time talking about the upcoming changes in the schedule and what it will be like.
  2. Provide as much structure as possible. Together pick out activities, sign up for camp and create a schedule. Maybe set up a calendar for the summer days which shows what you will be doing each day.
  3. Reading books about change and transition. Go to your local library and look through the many books to find some that share a story with your child that you like and shows someone going through a change like starting school or moving or losing a friend.
  4. Keeping in touch with children from school. Setting up play dates during the summer with a friend from school may help to maintain the connection the child created during the year. Even better if this is a child who will also be in their class next year.
  5. Check out next year’s classroom and teacher. Before the last day of school and again prior to the start of next year, visit your child’s new classroom and meet the new teaches if possible – this might help each the unpredictability of what’s to come.

What do you plan to do to help your family withstand this upcoming transition?

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