Changing Schools – Who’s more stressed the child or parent?

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Ella recently started grade 1 a few weeks ago and because she’s starting French Immersion she had to switch schools.  That meant leaving some of her friends behind, starting to take the school bus and a whole new environment – just as she was getting so comfortable with her current school.  I spent countless hours worrying about the transition.  It didn’t help that Ella was really upset at the end of June (both she and her teacher shed tears on the last day of school) and she specifically told me she didn’t want to change schools.  That threw everything into a whirlwind, making me second guess the whole reason I uprooted our family to move to a new school district in the first place.  For months leading up school starting I worried (but of course trying to keep a cool exterior).  So many questions kept running through my mind.  Listing them now they seem so silly but I was seriously worried.

  • Was she going to get in a class with someone she knew?
  • Would she be okay taking the bus and know to get off at the right stop?
  • Would she have anyone to sit on the bus with so she didn’t feel left out?
  • Was I making the change for the right reasons?
  • Would she even like learning French?
  • Would the teachers be as great as they were in her current school?
  • Would a change from a small school into a school over double the size compromise her learning?
  • and the list goes on…..

I’m sure even though I tried to hide my worry, it must have affected Ella as she wasn’t keen on going back to school.  She dreaded it and vocalized this on a regular basis.  Not sure how much of this was her feeling my stress and how much was based on her own feelings.  She loved school before this and of course it fed right into my doubts and worries.

When I get stressed, I carry it all in my body – knots everywhere.  During this stressful time, I got lots of use from my portable shiatsu massager which helped me relax.  Obviously if I had money to burn I would go to a masseuse but since I can’t, this portable massager was the next best thing.  I liked how portable this unit was which was easy to plug into the wall if I was in the house or into the cigarette lighter when I was in the car.  It was light and compact and the automatic programming which changes from clockwise to counter clockwise motion helped to get all the knots out.  One area for improvement is that the straps on the back could be longer to wrap around a large arm chair.  An extra perk though was the added heat when it was really needed on those more stressful days.  Thank you 1byone!

shiatsu

I’m happy to report that she’s completed two weeks in her new school and things couldn’t have gone better!  Even though she isn’t in the same class with the few friends who transitioned schools as well, they somehow find each other at recess and it’s like things have not changed with her core group.  We are also lucky that one of the girls on the street who is a few years older has taken a liking to Ella and has helped her with the change with taking the bus.  Not only does she have someone to sit with but she has someone to look out for her and ensure she doesn’t get off at the wrong stop!  It’s also only a short time with the French but she’s shown a real interest and seems to be keen on keeping up with the work.  Fingers crossed this trend continues but so far so good with the entire transition – socially, academically, logistically and emotionally.  I am SO RELIEVED!

school-bus

first-day-of-gr1

How did the first weeks of school go for you and your child?

Did you have any stressful moments as well?

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4 thoughts on “Changing Schools – Who’s more stressed the child or parent?

  1. My son, Bogdan, has just joined the school and you know, it seems like I became a student again! I help my son and his stresses and worries appeal to me too. So, I think that parents must put their feelings away and support their children during stressful periods. It’s the only way to make them happy!

  2. What an amazing opportunity for Ella. It is good that you were Brave and made the change, it sounds like it’s going to end up very good for everyone. And although you were anxious, you trusted that your daughter would be able to handle it. And she did. Isn’t that awesome? It’s the best!

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