How to help kids adapt to a new school after moving to the USA

Moving, as a major change, can be difficult for kids. They’re changing surroundings, neighbors, friends, and school. That’s a big change for them to deal with it without help. The worst scenario for them is moving during the school year. So, it’s your job, as a parent, to know how to help kids adapt to a new school after moving to the USA. Here are some useful tips.

Begin the conversation with kids early

When you have kids, you need to know how to make moving enjoyable for them. Make sure you give your kids time to process the upcoming change. Have an open and honest conversation about the relocation. This is one of the most important things you can do to help them overcome anxiety. Find out if their concerns with regards to starting at a new school. Listen to all of their worries, provide reassurance and advice. You will not relieve all of their fears, but you can give them the stability they need to get through it. Talking with the kids is beneficial for many reasons:

  • They will recognize significant support in you. This will make them feel free to share problems and fears later.
  • Kids can find out that they may not be the only ones going through adaptation difficulties. Perhaps they meet some other peers struggling with the same problem.
  • Explain to them that they don’t have to forget the old school and old friends. 
Talk with your kids about the relocation early. That’s one of the best tips on how to help kids adapt to a new school after moving to the USA.

How to help kids adapt to a new school after moving to the USA – Try to keep a positive attitude

Kids easily notice your perceptions of a situation, so if you want them to stay positive, you need to be positive too. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t admit the difficulties of switching schools. Just play up the exciting aspects of it. Use top tips for moving with a toddler, focus on the opportunities, not the drawbacks. Bring enthusiasm, and your kids will associate the move with positivity, even with the anxiety.

Give your children some control 

A lot of the fear about adjusting after moving to another country and a new school is because of the lack of control. So, having such little control is one of the most difficult parts of being a kid. Fight this by allowing them to make choices and control some aspects. For example, if there’s an option of which school to attend, let them make the decision. But, if there’s no choice, give them control in smaller ways. Let them pick out their new backpack and school supplies. This will show your kids that their voices and opinion matter. It will also give them some stability in this turbulent period.

Visit school

The next tip on how to help kids adapt to a new school after moving is to go for a visit before their first day. You can take a walk around the building, and meet the principal and new teacher. This way, your kids will have a general idea of what to expect. Also, if it’s possible, visit the school when it’s in session to let kids see for themselves what it’s like there. Of course, the first days will still be a bit overwhelming, but the basics will not be daunting. You can find some additional tips on sites like

How to help kids adapt to a new school after moving to the USA – Create a new routine 

Moving to a new place equals a new routine. So, it’s a good idea before school starts to familiarize kids with their new routine. Make a plan for what mornings will look like, and drive or walk the new route. Try to hold on to as many traditions as you can from your child’s previous school day routine. That’s beneficial for your kids. Carrying them brings layers of familiarity to the situation. 

School Bus
Create a new school routine. Work on it together.

Get involved in the new school

If you have the time, get involved in the new school yourself. This is very helpful for the kids. Attend orientation sessions, and sign up to be a class parent and more. Even if you don’t plan to keep up this level of involvement long term, engaging is a way to take this adventure together.

Talk with the school’s representative

Another tip on how to help kids adapt to a new school after moving to the USA is meeting with the new teacher and principal. Maybe they’ll introduce your child to a classmate who is also new in school. Or maybe they can assign partners for some projects. Also, they can check in with your kids during the day, just to see how he or she is doing. This kind of support system helps your kid adjust. Plus, it will give you peace of mind too.

How to help kids adapt to a new school after moving to the US – Schedule a playdate for your kids

Making new friends is one of the scariest parts of a new school. Even in elementary school breaking in a friend group is hard. Of course, you can’t go in and make friends for them, but you can do something else. You can help in friendship building by scheduling a get together with someone from your child’s class. Depending on their age, of course. However, if your child is young enough for this, take the initiative yourself and provide them a way to get to know a new classmate.

Sign kids up for an extracurricular activity

A great way to help your kid make new friendships is to sign them up for an after school activity. Let them choose one or more activities they’ll enjoy. This way, they can connect with their peers over a shared interest like sports, games, or theater. In case they say they don’t want to do any activities, just go ahead and sign them up on your own. Sometimes that’s what they need to get out of their comfort zone.

Involve kids in school activities because that’s the best way to integrate thoroughly and quickly into the new school community.

Don’t have unrealistic expectations

Remember, you need to be patient with your child’s transition. Setting expectations about when or how they should adapt will not do them any favors. Instead, be there for them, and understand that getting settled demands time. So, be supportive, present, and non-judgmental.

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