The anxiety of meeting new faces at school
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|   Jul 14, 2016
The anxiety of meeting new faces at school

As we are inching closer to the school reopening and moving to the next grade, me and my daughter can’t help but ponder about the impacts of the change that is expected at school this year. After being together for 4 years, this is the year when sections A,B,C,D & E are being shuffled up. So each child will come back to a new section in the new academic year.


While to some it may feel like a trivial change, for an 8 year old this may be her world. She has been bringing up the topic again and again to the dinner table discussion. She is very anxious about parting with her old friends. Then there is the unease of leaving the previous classroom and homeroom teachers. The anxiety of being in a totally new environment at school. Through the grade changes from LKG to UKG and so on, these familiar faces (read friends) have been her security shield. But this year that shield will be breached.


I needed to make up my mind first if shuffling-of-sections was a good thing or bad. Given that it was coming from an established school it had to be good idea. But I was not sure in my mind. So I did a fair bit of understanding this concept. Here are my 2-bits on this and how you can talk about it to your child.


IT MAY ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR THEM

To be overtly frank, my daughter has been feeling that some of her friendships have gone stale. She has drifted away from one of her best friends and it may be actually good for her meet new friends. Some of the other parents at school have also been feeling this way.


On the other side there are those kids who would plainly refuse to interact with anyone but their best buddy. So much so that the chatter continues even in the middle of the class which can be quite irritating for the teacher. They may come back labelled for bad behavior. These kids may as much benefit from learning to spend time away from their best buddy.

 

PREPARING FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL YEARS

This change sort of prepares the kids for the bigger change that awaits them when they transition to the middle school. Where it may be over-whelming to be the youngest of the lot suddenly. Always having to listen to the older children who may be as tall and evolved as the school staff.

“You will soon be moving to the middle school darling, so this is preparing you towards that”, I said. Her eyes lit up. “I will be a BIG girl, yeeyyyy”.

 

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Some of the schools maybe shuffling the sections every year for their own reasons. That could be another extreme however, considering the kids always go back with a blank slate. They have to start all over again with ALL their friends. When I explained this to my daughter, she gave me a very thoughtful insight– “I am lucky to be going back to the same school at least Mamma. My friend Esha was very lonely when she moved to our school last year. She was terribly missing all her friends from her previous school.“ That brought me to my next point.

 

HELPS INCASE YOU’RE SHIFTING CITIES

Most of us at some stage will re-locate to another city or country. Incase if the child is not an out-an-out extrovert, which includes my child too, this shift prepares them well to brace the change. They will be accustomed to making new friends, carving out their own space and sailing smoothly through the shift. This is all the more important when you look at cases of bullying. The child who is new or taking time to gel-in is more often than not the target of the bully. And we all know the impact of bullying.


Need I say more? Shuffling sections is a good thing which everyone is aware of , the parent can talk more about how to make the child comfortable with the change. Do write back incase you would like to debate this out. 


Excited and anxious as we enter the new academic year, I am expecting loads of questions coming my way over next few weeks. I am equally eagerly waiting to experience this change with her and help her sail though it smoothly. For I believe in Pam Leo quote “Children need atleast one person in their life who thinks the sun rises and sets with them, someone who delights in their existence”.#KhuljayeBachpan


Image Courtsey : udaipurtimes.com

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