One of the hardest parts of being a parent is helping your child grow up. You’re not only a carer, you’re a teacher and an educator, whose mission it is to teach and prepare your child for what’s to come in the future. This is particularly difficult during the major transition periods like moving schools or going to university.
With this in mind, it seemed like a good idea to create a post with a few tips of my own. If you’re stuck for ideas, hopefully this will help you out!
Preparing Them for Primary School
Preparing your little one for primary school comes with a whole load of challenges, particularly if you’ve never had a child go through primary school before. If can feel like you’re just as in the dark as your child is! This is only made worse when you think about just how young a child is when they enter primary school; it’s hard to have a deep and meaningful discussion with them when they’re that young.
Fortunately, most of the assistance doesn’t have to be through direct conversation. The key to a healthy transition to primary school is encouraging your little one to socialise. Making friends early on in primary school is what allows for an easy transition, and the best way to do that is through school playgrounds. The school playground is where children are able to socialise and become friends so to prepare your child for primary school, bring them along to local community playgrounds where they can get practice bonding with others their age and using school playground equipment.
This simple method is great for getting your child more accustomed to this style of interaction and these surroundings. It’s simple but it works!
Preparing Them for Secondary School
After primary school, you have arguably the most difficult school transition – secondary school. Preparing your child for secondary school presents many more challenges to primary school as your child is older and much more independent. Your main goal should be creating a sense of familiarity and comfort so that your little one can be themselves from the moment they arrive. The best way to do this is through open evenings and learning about the school together.
Other than building familiarity, the other focuses should be on encouraging independence and responsibility as teachers will be treating your little one as much more of an adult the moment they join secondary school. Altogether, it’s just important to respond to your child’s needs, especially in the initial transitional weeks.
Saying this, try to avoid becoming too overbearing or controlling. Just like we need space as adults, so do our children! Let them be themselves and leap in to help if they need it. The balance is hard to find but important.
Preparing Them for University
It’s hard for me to comment properly as I haven’t had a child enter university yet but it’s something we’re beginning to think about and there are plenty of online tips about starting university in case you’re stuck. Still, my instinct is to focus university preparation on independence and responsibility as your child will be living alone (likely for the first time). Saying this, by the age of 18 there’s a good chance they won’t be children anymore and we will have little need to prepare them for the next step!
There are countless different online guides covering this topic but the truth is, every parent and child is different. Nobody knows your little one as well as you do, so whilst I hope you can use some of this advice to help you prepare your child, don’t hesitate to use your own techniques and intuition too!
What are your tips for helping prepare your child for the future?